CORE Education Supports Ending Streaming in Aotearoa


We want all rangatahi to be inspired by their futures, we want them to be thriving in their education, confident in their culture and determining their own path. Streaming is a barrier to this vision and it needs to end.

Ending Streaming in Aotearoa (2021) Tokona Te Raki | Māori Futures Collective

CORE Education congratulates and stands alongside Tokona Te Raki as they champion a system response to ending streaming in Aotearoa. The release of the Tokona Te Raki report into this pervasive practice is a call to action which CORE intends to answer.

Streaming is deeply embedded into the organisational structure of many primary and secondary schools in Aotearoa, and even in early childhood. Whether the practice is called banding or ability grouping, it is a method of sifting learners for perceived ability and manageability. It comes from a deficit perspective and, as the report shows, systemic bias means those in the ‘bottom’ group, band, or stream are often Māori and Pacific learners.

CORE’s Tumu Whakarae, Dr Hana O’Regan, says, “Our company vision is for an equitable and thriving Aotearoa through learning. Realising this kaupapa leads us to seek out and actively work in places where learners experience inequitable outcomes or treatment, have fewer opportunities and limited resources. We know first hand that it can be hard to do things differently, and that learning communities will need support to look with fresh eyes at how they can “de-stream” so that all learners have the best chance of success”.

Dr O’Regan acknowledges that addressing an inequitable practice like streaming requires these communities to be courageous, and be willing to change. “But we are ready to pick up the wero placed before us from Tokona Te Raki to do what we can, as a Tiriti-honouring organisation, to advocate for and support equitable learning for all. We are offering a range of supports that connect leaders and teachers to different professional learning pathways critical for any move to de-streaming”.

Those interested in picking up the challenge to de-stream are invited to explore the pathways below or speak directly to Dr Pam O’Connell, Operations Manager, Professional Learning and Development.

Information about CORE support on de-streaming

Contact Dr Pam O’Connell on 021 973 943 for further information on any of these CORE de-streaming offerings.

Te Whakamānawa

Te Whakamānawa is a 20-week online programme that supports educators to build learning environments which support ākonga agency to collaborate and to connect through ako (reciprocal learning), tuakana teina (experienced learners working with less experienced), and wānanga – all practices aligned to te ao Māori. These practices will enable you to deconstruct ability grouping and reconstruct quality learning opportunities for all.

He Waka Unua

He Waka Unua is a coaching and mentoring support programme for individual educators who may want to examine their own assumptions around equity and streaming, and the stories behind them. Participants are invited to look at other perspectives (from tamariki, whānau and research), and share ideas and opportunities to lead change. This programme supports leaders and kaiako to make sustainable changes in their practice to reflect their tamariki, their whakapapa, and needs in an inclusive way.

Regionally-allocated PLD

Professor Richard Elmore writes about the “unexamined wallpaper” on our staffroom walls. Often we do not even ‘see’ the pattern or colour as we enter it each day. But we do need to reveal these patterns, get clarity on why streaming still exists in our communities and what forms and guises it now has.

CORE facilitators can help you utilise the cultural capability priority to co-design a PLD response to de-constructing streaming in your school or Kahui Ako, alongside mana whenua and the community.

You might also consider assessment for learning, aromatawai, to approach flexible grouping approaches. Our team has significant expertise in this PLD priority, can identify extensive research and resources for changing your grouping practices in mathematics and literacy.


Inclusive education supports how we develop and design our learning spaces and activities so that all learners are affirmed in their identity and can learn and participate together. Our facilitators can support you to use Universal Design for Learning (UDL)  a systematic, intentional approach to equity in education and the workplace. We can work alongside you to co-design more inclusive environments as a result of your decision to end banding, streaming or ability grouping.

Hauora | Wellbeing programme

CORE has partnered with the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience to deliver research-driven PLD for Kāhui Ako and learning settings. Our facilitators have been accredited by the Institute to work alongside you to develop collective wellbeing strategies for your whole community. Tailored to your setting the PLD offers another way to learn about and lead a de-streaming kaupapa. Our facilitators focus on a holistic view of ākonga. It has a strengths-based focus that supports success for all. 

Te Whakaahu Hautūtanga | Advanced Leadership

Te Whakaahu Hautūtanga | Advanced Leadership programme challenges women leaders in education to examine their moral purpose, to grow their cultural capability and to build their capacity to lead transformative change in Aotearoa. To plan and implement the kaupapa of de-streaming is complex. This opportunity is for a group of leaders to collaboratively explore the principles of adaptive leadership and strategies for leading sustainable change and apply these to their own contexts. Through this process, they can identify the areas and practices impacting on equity and inclusion, including the use of ability groups, banding or streaming and work with colleagues to co-construct sustainable changes.

Early Years

Early years education does not generally have the formal structures that accompany streaming of tamariki-mokopuna in other learning settings.  But there are practices that may still impact in the same way, such as age-related transitions to school groupings. Our Early Years team can support your early learning service to consider organisational practices with a lens on equity.