22 April 2020
Tom Dickie [FYI request #12544 email]
Tēnā koe Tom
School Development: Location and Scale Planning
Thank you for email of 28 March 2020 to the Ministry of Education, requesting information about the
location and scale planning of New Zealand schools. Specifically you requested information on:
Which timetabling algorithm(s) is/are utilised to align pupil demographics within the
school's catchment area with the school curriculum and teachers subject teaching
qualification(s) in order to identify the appropriate mix of general classrooms and
specialist class rooms (e.g science) to optimise class room utilisation and optimise
school size?; and
If the MoE does not adopt the utilisation of timetabling algorithms to achieve the above
outcomes how does MoE accurately align and optimise school scale and classroom
configuration and provision?
Your request has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982, however as there are no
documents that fall within the scope of this request, we have provided the following information in
answer to your questions.
We do not use timetabling algorithms when assessing the future growth of a catchment area, or the
predicted number of teaching spaces that will be required. We forecast student demand and
distribution in catchments by comparing the forecast (demand) with the existing space available in
schools (supply), including approved new roll growth space, to identify the potential requirement for
additional student places.
Schools themselves are responsible for deciding timetabling, class sizes and subject offerings.
Parents and students are also involved and are often able to decide which type of schools, classes
and subjects they prefer. To accommodate this flexibility, we constantly work with schools to best
adapt their buildings and teaching spaces to their evolving curriculum offerings and the needs of
While we will never be able to accurately align and consistently optimise our assets to the demands
of any given day, we work to ensure equity across our portfolio and continually seek to identify and
address new opportunities as they emerge.
Mātauranga House, 33 Bowen Street, Wellington 6011
PO Box 1666, Wellington 6140. Phone: +64 4 463 8000
Thank you again for your request. Under section 28(3), you have the right to refer this response to
an Ombudsman. You can do this by emailing [email address].
Nāku noa, nā
Katrina Casey Deputy Secretary
Sector Enablement and Support