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What is Census at School?

CensusAtSchool/TataurangaKiTeKura is a long-running, online educational project that takes place every two years with the aim of bringing statistics to life in the classroom.

Schools take part voluntarily. Supervised by teachers, students use a variety of digital devices that are connected to the Internet to answer 35 questions in English or te reo Māori about their lives and opinions.

The data is then collated and made available for class exercises, so that students can see the real-life relevance of statistics.

What kind of questions are asked?

Students are asked to undertake practical activities such as weighing their schoolbag, and answer questions such as: If you could only have one app on your phone, what would it be? How much pressure do you feel because of the homework you have to do? About how many txt messages did you send yesterday? In the past week, how much money did you receive from pocket money, allowance or gifts?

How many schools are taking part? Over what period of time?

This year’s Census At School survey runs from February 7, until July 7.
Participating schools can be found here.

What age groups are involved?

Students aged between 9 and 18 (Year 5 to Year 13)

What are the benefits of the project?

Census at School aims to:

  1. foster a positive attitude to statistics through using data that is both relevant and real
  2. improve understanding of a data gathering process, its purposes and benefits to society
  3. provide classes with access to large and meaningful multivariate data sets
  4. encourage effective IT teaching and learning
  5. enhance the process of statistical enquiry across the curriculum

How do I get to visit a school to take a photo, interview the kids etc?

Visit here to see which schools are participating, and either contact the school or Rachel Cunliffe (census@stat.auckland.ac.nz) to arrange with the specific teachers who have registered from those schools.

How will the data be used? For what purposes? Can it be used for more than school-based activities/exercises?

Class data is returned to the teachers to use for class activities. From mid-June 2015, the nationwide database will be available for sampling from, and for viewing summary statistics on the CensusAtSchool NZ and CensusAtSchool international websites. Everyone who uses the data tools agrees to the following terms and conditions:

“The data is the property of CensusAtSchool NZ and is protected by copyright laws. The sample data is provided solely for the purposes of teaching and learning. This data can not be reproduced in anyway, other than by teachers or students for school curriculum and assessment activities, without the express permission of CensusAtSchool NZ. No reference to the URL for our sampler is to be made in any publication without the permission of CensusAtSchool NZ. Persons doing so will be prosecuted.”

All data received is anonymous, confidential and securely stored by CensusAtSchool. The Ministry of Education, Statistics New Zealand and other third parties do not have access to the full database.

How will the identity of the students be protected?

All data received is anonymous, confidential and securely stored.

You can explore data collated from past years here.

Is it part of an international event?

Yes – The Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education started the CensusAtSchool project in the UK in 2000, based on a trial project by Prof. Sharleen Forbes of Statistics New Zealand, which took place in 1990.

Since 2000, the UK has been joined by New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, USA and Korea.

So schools also have access to data from other countries?

Yes, via the CensusAtSchool International website.

Where do I go for more information?

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Annel Patel
Email: census@stat.auckland.ac.nz
Phone: 021 178 2710

Full sized professional versions of these CensusAtSchool classroom photographs available to media by request.

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