President unimpressed by education plans
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.”