Ed­u­ca­tion shakeup

Sunday Star-Times - - FOCUS -

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Chris Hip­kins has com­mis­sioned a ma­jor re­view of To­mor­row’s Schools, which will con­sider is­sues in­clud­ing schools’ re­la­tion­ships with their com­mu­nity.

Do boards of trustees, con­sist­ing of elected par­ent rep­re­sen­ta­tives, have the ex­per­tise to run big, com­pli­cated mul­ti­mil­lion­dol­lar in­sti­tu­tions? Can they com­pe­tently ap­point prin­ci­pals? And should zones be strictly en­forced?

That re­port is about to be pre­sented to him; he’s not yet com­ment­ing on its likely rec­om­men­da­tions, and whether the pro­lif­er­a­tion of zones is erod­ing parental choice.

Zon­ing has been a com­mon theme in sub­mis­sions to the re­view’s task­force, the min­istry ad­vised.

Mean­while, the job of draw­ing zone bound­aries and con­sult­ing com­mu­ni­ties about them falls to boards of trustees.

‘‘The re­al­ity is the ne­go­ti­a­tion is usu­ally done with the min­istry,’’ New Zealand School Trustees’ As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Lor­raine Kerr says.

There’s ‘‘very lit­tle’’ flex­i­bil­ity for boards di­rected to draw a zone, and yet some ap­peared to be se­lec­tive.

Zon­ing is not a one-size-fit­sall so­lu­tion, she says.

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