The stage looks set for the Ministry of Education to use the National Student Number ID allocated to each child enrolled in early childhood education for the measurement of educational outcomes.
In the Education Gazette of 10/2/2014 the Ministry of Education reminds ECE services to use its required ECE Enrolment Agreement Form that contains a privacy statement that identifies for both parents and ECE services that details of a child’s identity are shared with the Ministry so that an NSN can be allocated for each child. The statement also identifies that this unique identifier will be used for research, statistics, resourcing, and the measurement of educational outcomes.
Thus, it will be possible for the Ministry to follow children’s progress from early childhood and through the school years, and know the early childhood services attended by each child who is working above, at, and towards (below) the National Standards for each year group at school.
Questions that may be asked are:
- Could a future government decide to link funding to how well an ECE service can get children reading, writing and understanding maths? Perhaps by targeting resources to ECE services where extra support is considered necessary or by rewarding with more funding the ECE services that produce higher achieving children.
- What kinds of pressure will this place on parents and teachers to prepare children earlier for academic success and how will this impact on children’s time to play and socialise?
- Could parents seek a refund on fees or sue an early childhood education service for damages if the data revealed showed a high probability that their children would be performing better at school had they not attended the service or attended a different ECE service?
What do you think about the potential for the Ministry to use the unique identifier (NSN) allocated to each child in early childhood education for the measurement of educational outcomes? And what do you see as being good (or bad) about this?