Prin­ci­pal to study stu­dents

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

He is on a mis­sion to re­search into stu­dents who cel­e­brate their birth­day in March, April, May and June as they ‘‘fall into a grey area’’ in the New Zealand school sys­tem.

Te Waotu School prin­ci­pal Bruce Dar­roch has been awarded a sab­bat­i­cal and will un­der­take re­search into stu­dents whose birth­day is in ei­ther of those four months.

‘‘These stu­dents fall into a grey area in the New Zealand school sys­tem when they reach the end of their time in the ju­nior school,’’ Mr Dar­roch said. ‘‘It in­evitably is an area of con­tro­versy of­ten be­tween school and par­ents and even be­tween schools.

‘‘ Schools are faced with the dilemma or pol­icy decision around whether to give the chil­dren that fall into this cat­e­gory ex­tra time in the ju­niors or move them into year 3.’’ Mr Dar­roch said mov­ing them for­ward made them very young in re­la­tion to their co­horts and the ef­fects of this were of­ten felt when they reached sec­ondary school and even early univer­sity.

‘‘I am in­ter­ested to see how dif­fer­ent pri­mary schools han­dle this mat­ter (do they pro­mote or do they give ex­tra time in the foun­da­tion years) and also the ef­fects both so­cial and aca­demic in ad­vanc­ing a child at that age.’’

He will spend time in schools in­clud­ing Welling­ton, Palmer­ston North and Hawke’s Bay to con­duct the re­search.

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