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Purpose of Agency

The Ministry of Education (MOE) is the Government's lead advisor on the New Zealand education system, shaping direction for sector agencies and providers. This includes:

  • strategic leadership in the sector
  • support and resources for education providers
  • school property portfolio management
  • support and resources for teachers
  • interventions for target student groups
  • support and resources for the community
  • strategic leadership in the tertiary system.

High value public data released for re-use

The NZSchools native iOS and Android applications have exposed the following public data via a Google maps mashup:

  • basic school informaion (decile, principal, roll, contact details)
  • School Enrolment zone
  • Education Review Office (ERO) reports
  • school website links
  • MOE funded school bus routes
  • Learning Areas outside the Classroom (LEOTC)
  • non-residential Historic Places.

The application re-uses data and information from the MOE education information and analysis databases, the Historic Places Trust and ERO.

Funding has been allocated for developing an iPad version incorporating Google Streetview, public bus routes and emergency management features.

Release Rationale

  • make school information easily accessible to the public via a visual mapping interface on mobile devices
  • assist educators by displaying local resources such as LEOTC and historic places sites
  • use GPS location finding to target schools in the user’s local area by default
  • provide parents with a mobile visual display of schools near their specific address
  • increase MOE capability in mobile device information usage.

Risk Mitigation

Licensing and legal issues –  MOE worked with ERO and the Historic Places Trust to ensure all information was without any licensing or legal issues.

Data Integrity – All information used was already publicly available and has been accessed from existing systems and databases. An existing Help Desk system was utilised to record and address any data issues which were referred to the source systems as required.

Cost and timeframe

Development of both formats of the application cost $20,000. Additional staff time was used in project management, testing and liaison with ERO and the Historic Places Trust. The release process from start to finish took about 1 year.

Economic and social impacts

  • Real estate companies use the application for display of local school enrolment zones
  • news media use data and graphics from the application
  • parents may access local school information including ERO reports based on where they live
  • parents may access local school zone and other information including ERO reports when looking to buy or rent a new home.

Transparency and democratic impacts

  • School performance is made available via access to ERO reports
  • Since release at the end of March (last 2 months) there have been over 600 downloads of the iOS apple app and over 100 Android downloads.

Efficiency impacts

  • It brings together several sources of information to one mobile access point
  • ERO and the Historic Places Trust have been provided with another means of providing greater visibility of their information to the public
  • teachers (and parents) can use the app to assist student achievement.

 Re-use of this case study is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License.