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Principals Hit The Capital For Biggest Conference

Concern that bad classroom acoustics may mean some lessons are falling on deaf ears will be among the issues under the spotlight when principals gather in Wellington for their annual conference this month.

The New Zealand Principals’ Federation Conference, being held from June 26 to 29, has attracted the most delegates ever with about 1000 delegates expected to attend.

This year’s conference has been organised by the Wellington Regional Primary Principals Association, and its theme is Principals with Principles.

Conference Convenor Bruce McIntosh says the intense interest shows that principals are well aware of the need to continue to look forward and explore new ways of leading their schools.

“Principals are committed to ensuring that their leadership has a positive impact on the school, and of course on delivering the best possible education for their students. With that also comes a commitment to constantly challenge the way they do things and this conference will provide an excellent platform to do just that.”

Bruce McIntosh says the programme has been designed to ensure that delegates share and explore new ideas, along with challenging current thinking.

“The need for ongoing professional development can’t be over emphasised when it comes to the management of our schools. In the past the conference has pushed us and urged us to constantly look at ways to improve our leadership.”

The programme includes a number of international guest speakers, including United Kingdom’s National College for School Leadership Director Heather du Quesnay, and one of Australia’s most innovative educators Di Fleming.

Other workshops include:

- Meeting the needs of gifted students.

- Solutions to ensure that lessons aren’t falling on deaf ears. This is based on research that shows that most classroom acoustics prevent children with normal hearing from hearing the teacher when they are sitting just two metres away.

- A look at whether or not schools are giving their students the necessary visas for their future passports.

- Raising Maori achievement in mainstream schools.

- The need for effective professional development programmes for principals.

The conference will be officially opened at the Beehive for the first time ever, which will be marked by a powhiro at 4.30pm on Wednesday June 26, while Associate Minister of Education Marian Hobbs will be addressing delegates on Friday morning.


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