Pres­i­dent unim­pressed by ed­u­ca­tion plans

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Tai Tok­erau Prin­ci­pals’ As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Pat New­man is not im­pressed by the Gov­ern­ment’s ed­u­ca­tion re­form pro­pos­als.

“In my opin­ion this is the poor­est, light­weight piece of work ever done with re­gards to ed­u­ca­tion,” he said.

“The re­view makes state­ments and then jumps, with­out a shred of con­crete valid ev­i­dence or ex­pe­ri­ence, to their so­lu­tion. When I read the so­lu­tion I see more than the hoped for re­sult of each rec­om­men­da­tion.

“We are cre­at­ing an­other bu­reau­cratic mon­ster, with­out any rea­son or ev­i­dence that it will be bet­ter than what we have. We know that po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence in our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem has been the cause of most of our prob­lems, yet we ac­cept that these (re­gional) hubs will be ap­pointed by the Min­is­ter? Di­rect po­lit­i­cal con­trol at lo­cal level.”

Mr New­man did not be­lieve that a re­view of To­mor­row’s Schools was even nec­es­sary, and ques­tioned why he failed to hear the voices of those who at­tended meet­ings in Christchur­ch and Auck­land in the re­view.

“So much for the guardians do­ing their job,” he said. “Bali (Haque, who is lead­ing the To­mor­row’s Schools In­de­pen­dent Task­force) cor­rectly pointed out that cur­rently schools are Crown En­ti­ties, the dif­fer­ence, in my opin­ion, be­ing Crown En­tity is cur­rently our boards (of trus­tees, which) can al­low us as prin­ci­pals to speak out and take the risk.

“Do you think a po­lit­i­cally-ap­pointed Hub Con­trol will al­low prin­ci­pals to ques­tion gov­ern­ment ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy, what­ever the party?” he asked.

“It was also no­tice­able that when the team came to Te Tai Tok­erau they did not want to hear any de­tailed ques­tions. Not just the meet­ing I at­tended. Those who asked at the var­i­ous meet­ings were of­ten cut off. I was called mis­chievous. The meet­ing shut down ex­actly at the two-hour mark, and fur­ther ques­tions were not al­lowed in pub­lic.

“I look for­ward to the meet­ing TPPA is hav­ing with As­so­ciate Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Tracey Martin re the re­view, in the hope that our con­cerns can be found to be non-ex­is­tent.”

Pat New­man

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