Here you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about Te Rito

Te Rito and its features

What is Te Rito?

Te Rito is an information-sharing platform that enables information about ākonga and learners to follow them throughout their education. Te Rito will allow the safe and secure transfer, storage, and retrieval of information about learners as they move between kura and schools, and longer term from early learning to post-secondary.

What does Te Rito offer kura and schools?

When kura and schools’ student management systems (SMS) are connected to Te Rito, and as other data sources are added, increasing information on ākonga and learners will be available for connected kura and schools to access.

This means education-related information can be shared safely and easily when ākonga and learners move from one kura or school to another. 

Kura and schools using Te Rito are also able to use features that support teaching, learning and collaboration between and across kura and schools. This includes access to aggregate information on attendance and transitions for Kāhui Ako and at kura and school level.

Why was Te Rito paused?

We paused the programme in 2021 at a time of escalating cyber security threats to review the systems that connect to Te Rito and identify a way forward. 

To support the restart we have simplified the technology, focusing on one-way data transfer from SMS to Te Rito while connecting systems are made safer. We are confident that data can be copied into Te Rito safely and securely.  

What is the long-term vision for Te Rito?

We want to safely connect ākonga and learner information with their educators and whānau throughout their education. 

Te Rito will be delivered to kura and schools first, with the aim of including early learning services and post-secondary providers over the longer term.

As kura and schools connect their SMS to Te Rito, and information from other systems (such as learner funding information and assessment tools) are also connected, an increasingly rich record of ākonga and learners’ progress will build over time.

Is the standardised Learning Support Register (sLSR) part of Te Rito?

The sLSR needs further development before it can be rolled out nationally and is not currently in scope for the programme. 

We began implementing Te Rito in 2019 to test the connection technology that would enable data to follow ākonga and learners as they move between kura or schools. 

When the sLSR was developed it was piloted as part of the early-stage rollout because Te Rito enabled data in the sLSR to be shared across Kāhui Ako. The sLSR will continue to be available to the Kāhui Ako that took part in the early-stage rollout.

We know there is strong support for the learning support register and we're working with the team responsible for it to explore options.

Security and privacy

Is Te Rito secure?

Yes, you can be confident that Te Rito is safe and secure. 

We paused Te Rito in 2021 to address cyber security concerns with SMS that connect to Te Rito. We have now resolved the issues by enabling learner information to flow one way from SMS into Te Rito’s secure database.

The Te Rito platform meets stringent international privacy and security standards 

Edsby, the vendor who owns the platform supporting Te Rito, has ISO27001 Certification for their Information Security Management System. This is an independently audited assessment and gives assurance that Te Rito is managed to industry best practices. 

Te Rito has been designed to meet the requirements of the Privacy Act 2020

The Te Rito team is updating the Privacy Impact Assessment in consultation with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and will continue to do so on a regular basis. We will provide a plain language summary for teachers, parents, and students in the first half of 2024. 

Security that goes above and beyond industry norms 

Te Rito performs regular and comprehensive security testing to provide extra assurance to students, parents, and schools that information is safe, protected and only shared with the right people at the right time.  

Is its data encrypted?

Yes. All data sent between Te Rito and a user or another data store (such as a Student Management System) is encrypted in transit and when stored in the Te Rito database.

Who owns the platform and what steps have they taken to protect student privacy?

Edsby owns the platform supporting Te Rito and has signed the (US) Student Privacy pledge Signatories 2.0 - Pledge to Parents and Students  

The US based Common Sense Privacy programme assesses education technology against good privacy and security practice. Edsby was last reviewed in February 2023, achieving a Basic Evaluation Pass with a score of 93%, which is considered very high. 

Edsby - Privacy Evaluation (commonsense.org)

All Edsby’s work with New Zealand kura, schools and the Ministry demonstrates that Edsby upholds these pledges. 

How are individual rights to sharing information, or choosing not to, being addressed? 

We will shortly complete a comprehensive Privacy Impact Assessment that includes making plain language summaries of technical security and privacy information available to help learners and whānau parents understand how their child's information is safely managed in Te Rito.  

We will also provide advice and guidance to schools, including how you could reflect the purpose of Te Rito in enrolment forms or privacy statements.

Can a parent see what information about their child is held in Te Rito?

Te Rito is designed to meet the requirements of the Privacy Act 2020. Parents have a right under the Privacy Act to access information held on their child and can ask their kura or school to provide them with a copy of data held in Te Rito on their child. 

If information in Te Rito about a child is inaccurate, can parents or caregivers have it corrected?

Information in Te Rito is provided by kura or schools. If information about a child in Te Rito is incorrect, their parent or caregiver should contact their kura or school to have it updated.

Connections and access

When can a kura or school have access to Te Rito?

It will take time for all kura and schools to be onboarded and able to access and use Te Rito but giving permission to connect your SMS to the platform can be done now.

Register interest in Te Rito here

How is Te Rito being rolled out?

We are working closely with sector working groups Te Rau Whakatupu Māori and Auraki to plan and deliver the rollout. 

We will be onboarding kura and schools to Te Rito over several years, guided by the sector working groups. 

The immediate priority is connecting SMS to Te Rito to protect ākonga and learner information when they move kura or schools. Access will be extended to ākonga and learners, and their parents or caregivers, when we have a robust digital identity solution in place. 

How are decisions made about where to focus the rollout? 

In 2024, we’ll begin onboarding kura and schools in Whangārei. The rollout will extend as we learn more about what works best for educators, ākonga and learners, and those who support their learning. 

Guided by Te Rau Whakatupu Māori and Auraki, we’ll consider a range of factors when deciding where to focus next, including how and when to onboard schools or groups of schools that are keen to be early adopters. 

Will Te Rito be compulsory?

Te Rito is not compulsory. Kura and schools are free to decide whether to use Te Rito but if they decide not to, we still encourage permission be given for their SMS to connect to Te Rito to safeguard data on their ākonga and learners and enable the data to follow them throughout their education.

Who manages the schools access control? 

Educators access Te Rito via the Ministry's Education Sector Logon.

What can a principal see in Te Rito?

The principal or tumuaki can see all the information about their kura or school, ākonga and learners, parents and whānau, staff and classes. Dashboards also provide Kahui Ako-level information, including attendance and transitions.

What can a teacher see in Te Rito?

A teacher or kaiako can see all information about their classes, and most information about their ākonga and learners, including their parent/whānau information.

Will our administrative staff have access to Te Rito?

At this stage we are limiting access to principals, deputy principals and teachers but will add other users over time, and this may include administrative staff.  

Will we have to pay to use Te Rito?

Te Rito will be offered free to kura and schools. The Ministry purchased licenses to the platform that supports Te Rito so that information could follow learners through their education.

When will ākonga and learners have access to Te Rito?

We’ll soon pilot access for a small number of ākonga and learners enrolled with Ko Taku Reo – Deaf Education NZ. Implementing ākonga and learner access nationally depends on how soon a digital identity solution can be implemented, which will be informed by the pilot.

When will parents, caregivers and whānau have access to Te Rito?

Enabling parent, caregiver and whānau access to Te Rito is part of the long-term vision and we are working on how to achieve this. Future phases could include testing access for parents, caregivers and whānau as part of a pilot.

Will Te Rito be available to early learning services?

Early learning services that participated in the early-stage rollout will continue to have access to Te Rito. At this stage we have no immediate plans to extend Te Rito to the early learning sector, however, we are working to include early learning data from Ministry systems.

Student Management Systems

When can we connect our SMS to Te Rito?

Principals can give their permission to connect their schools’ SMS now and we encourage you to do so.

You can read about the connection process here.

Can all SMS connect to Te Rito?

Currently, three SMSs have one way connections to Te Rito (Edge, eTAP and Kamar) and we’re working with others to enable them to connect too. This includes Hero, who we’re working with to connect using secure API-based connection technology.

Will we still need our SMS?

Yes. Kura and schools will continue to use their SMS for creating student records, inputting learner data and the other administrative functions their SMS offers. Your SMS will continue to be the official source of learner information.

Once an SMS is connected to Te Rito, learner and ākonga data will be copied into Te Rito every 24 hours, creating a persistent record of core ākonga and learner information and providing an extra level of protection for learner information.

Can a kura or school use Te Rito if it doesn’t have an SMS?

While ākonga or learner information could flow through to Te Rito via ENROL (for kura and schools without an SMS), we are not progressing this at this time. Functionality would be very limited without the additional data an SMS collects, reducing the benefits Te Rito brings to kura and schools. Additionally, further manual steps would be required to manage access for staff, ākonga and learners.

Right now, we are focusing on connecting kura and schools that have an SMS as the priority is to safeguard learner data contained in their SMS that might otherwise be lost.

You can read more about Te Rito and its features and functionality here.

Data management

Why is it important to connect SMSs to Te Rito now?

As more kura and schools connect their SMS to Te Rito, an increasingly rich record of ākonga and learners’ progress over time will start to build. Information held in other systems (such as learner funding information and assessment tools) will eventually also be viewable in Te Rito.

What ākonga and learner information is available in Te Rito now?

The data in Te Rito is sourced from either a kura or school’s SMS, or from Ministry systems such as ENROL. A core sub-set of data held in a kura or school’s SMS will be available when kura or school leaders and educators log into Te Rito. This includes:

  • Identity (name, NSN, DOB, gender identity, etc.) 
  • Demographics such as ethnicity, iwi, and languages spoken
  • Enrolment details such as year and school
  • Whānau and caregiver details
  • Free text notes about interests and goals, or classroom and teacher notes relating to the ākonga or learner that may have been entered into Te Rito.

Kura and school leaders can also view a set of dashboards which hold more information about ākonga and learner transitions, attendance, and demographics.

In 2024 we’ll connect other Ministry systems to continue building the information available to educators when ākonga and learners move school.

Will pastoral and behavioural information go into Te Rito?

The plan is to include pastoral information. We're working with Ngā Rau Whakatupu – the sector working groups – and our privacy experts on how to ensure this can be done in ways that meet our primary aim of protecting the mana of the child and whānau.    

What happens to the data in Te Rito at the end of a school year?

At the end of a school year, class-related information is archived, with teachers and principals able to access the archive for learners enrolled in their kura or school. Core biographic and demographic information about ākonga and learners is kept, ready for the next school year.

How long will the data in Te Rito be kept for?

Information in Te Rito is kept while an ākonga or learner is at their kura or school, and for up to seven years after they finish school. If a family or whānau moves overseas, their children’s information stays in Te Rito and is deleted after seven years if they do not return to New Zealand.

Does anyone from the Ministry have access to the data in Te Rito?

The Ministry does not have access to data in Te Rito, except for those providing technical support to ensure the integrity, security and safety of the platform.

Only authorised users will have access to data held in Te Rito.

Access is tightly controlled by an independent Te Rito Data Kaitiakitanga Group that oversees the access and use of aggregated information held in Te Rito to decide who can use it, for what purpose and under what conditions.

Where is Te Rito data stored?

Te Rito is hosted in Microsoft’s Azure data centres in Australia.