Frequently Asked Questions

Te Rito and its features

What is Te Rito?

Te Rito is a national information-sharing platform that enables ākonga and learner information to follow them throughout their education.

It will allow the safe and secure transfer, storage, and retrieval of information about learners as they move between schools, and longer term through each stage of their education.

What does Te Rito offer kura and schools?

Right now, there is no way to share education-related information safely and easily when ākonga and learners move from one kura or school to another.

When ākonga and learners move to a new kura or school, if their previous kura or school’s student management system (SMS) is connected to Te Rito, this information will be available in Te Rito for their new kura or school to access if they are also connected to Te Rito.

Te Rito also has a range of tools to support teaching, learning and classroom administration. This includes a collaboration space, making it easy for educators to collaborate with others who have access to Te Rito.

Security and privacy

Is Te Rito secure?

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

Te Rito was paused in 2021 to address cyber security concerns with SMS that connect to Te Rito. The issues have since been resolved by ensuring learner information flows securely one way from the SMS into Te Rito’s protected 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 provides 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 my data encrypted?

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 is the vendor who owns the platform supporting Te Rito and they have signed the (US) Student Privacy pledge Signatories 2.0 - Pledge to Parents and Students.

All Edsby’s work with New Zealand kura and schools and the Ministry to date upholds those pledges. The US based Common Sense Privacy programme assesses education technology against good privacy and security practice.

Edsby and the Ministry check for security and privacy risks in Te Rito. They manage these risks to protect the Te Rito service and the information it holds. 

Who can see ākonga and learner information in Te Rito?

A school principal or tumuaki can see all the information about their kura or school, ākonga and learners, parents and whānau, staff, and classes.

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

Can I see what information about my child is held in Te Rito?

Te Rito has been designed to meet the requirements of the Privacy Act 2020. You have a right under the Privacy Act to access information held on your child and can ask your kura or school to provide you with a copy of data held in Te Rito on your child.

If information in Te Rito about my child is wrong, how do I correct it?

Most of the information in Te Rito is provided by kura or schools. If information is incorrect, you should contact your child’s kura or school to have it updated.

Connections and access

How is Te Rito being rolled out?

The Ministry is delivering Te Rito to kura and schools over several years in partnership with the sector via the Te Rito working groups, Ngā Rau Whakatupu Māori and Auraki.

The immediate priority is to connect kura and schools’ SMS to Te Rito to ensure ākonga and learner information is protected when they move kura or schools.

From 2024 we will begin onboarding kura and schools to Te Rito, starting in Whangārei and extending to Te Tai Tokerau and the rest of the country as we learn what works best for ākonga, learners and educators.

Over time we will extend access to ākonga and learners and their parents or caregivers.

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

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

You can register your interest in connecting to Te Rito here.

How are decisions made about where to focus the rollout?

Rolling out Te Rito to all kura and schools will take time. We’re starting small so we can learn as we go and make sure we get it right.

From early 2024 we’ll begin onboarding kura and schools in Whangārei, then Te Tai Tokerau, expanding delivery across the country as we learn more about what works best for educators, ākonga and learners, and those who support their learning.

Will Te Rito be compulsory?

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

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 through how we can achieve this. Future phases could

include testing access for parents, caregivers and whānau as part of a pilot but this is not part of the current phase.

Will Te Rito be available to early learning services?

Some leaders of early learning services were given access to Te Rito as part of the early-stage rollout but connecting early learning services is currently out of scope for the Ministry’s Te Rito programme. Early learning services that participated in the early stage rollout will continue to have access to Te Rito.

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 in scope for the programme at this time.

Te Rito began to be implemented in 2019 to test the connection technology, followed by the introduction of the sLSR. The sLSR will continue to be available to the Kāhui Ako that participated in the early-stage rollouts.

Student management systems

When will ākonga and learners have access to Te Rito?

Access to Te Rito will soon be piloted for a small number of ākonga and learners enrolled with Ko Taku Reo – Deaf Education NZ. Implementing ākonga and learner access nationally will depend on how soon a digital identity solution can be implemented to ensure ākonga and learner information is protected and that ākonga and learners are who they say they are when they log into Te Rito.

Can all SMS connect to Te Rito?

Right now, three SMSs can connect to Te Rito (Edge, e-TAP and KAMAR) and we are working with others to enable them to connect too.

Can our kura or school use Te Rito if we don’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 advise against it. 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 preserve the rich learner data contained in their SMS that would otherwise be lost.

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

Data management

Why is it important to connect my SMS 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 viewed in Te Rito.

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

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, that may have been entered into Te Rito relating to the ākonga or learner.

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

Where is Te Rito data stored?

The data in Te Rito is sourced from either a kura or school’s SMS, or from Ministry systems such as ENROL. Te Rito is hosted in Microsoft’s Azure data centres in Australia

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 retained, ready for the next school year.

How long will the information 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 would remain in Te Rito and be 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?

Only authorised users will have access to data held 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.

Access to Te Rito is tightly controlled and subject to review by the Te Rito Data Kaitiakitanga Group, an independent group established to oversee the use of information held in Te Rito and determine who can use it, for what purpose and under what conditions.

What protocols control a new school downloading data?

It is not possible to download or export a student record held in Te Rito. It is possible to export aggregated data sets for that school only which includes student identifiers (such as their names) but not to export a record that contains all the data stored in Te Rito on an individual learner.