The Education Ministry has acknowledged failings and has promised change in its latest annual report.
The report says the ministry was stretched in terms of capacity and capability, and got some things wrong in the 12 months to the end of June.
The report covers one of the ministry's toughest ever years. It included the Novopay school payroll debacle, unpopular quake-recovery decisions for Christchurch schools, and critical reporting of its performance.
In the report, Secretary for Education Peter Hughes says the year was challenging and demanding. He says he deeply regrets the stress caused by problems with Novopay, and says more could have been done to engage with Christchurch people over changes to their schools.
Mr Hughes says the ministry now needs to change, improve relationships and adopt a culture of backing principals, teachers and education providers.