June 16, 2005
What Is Required Within The Ehss Model
NZEI and NZPF met with senior Ministry officials and with the Minister of Education this week to reiterate the key facets that need to be part of the Extending High Standards in Schools (EHSS) initiative.
NZPF President Pat Newman: "Whilst NZEI and NZPF support the Government's intention to provide some resource to promote collaboration, share good practice and extend high standards across all schools it's vital the way this is done is appropriate, equitable and effective. Proven models of sharing knowledge within and between schools, such as professional learning community approaches, need to be well resourced and supported by the advisory services."
"We do see a key role in this work for the school advisory services. Overseas research clearly shows the facilitating, brokering and championing of collaborative work is crucial to its success. The involvement and resourcing of advisory services experts to be part of this work is something we want to see within the model," says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Colin Tarr.
When the initiative was first announced in October last year it was to involve around 10 percent of schools, deemed to be 'high performing' or 'effective', being nominated or nominating themselves to receive a slice of a contestable fund of $28 million over 4 years. It now appears that a more needs based/tailored approach will be taken to funding various initiatives clusters of schools might wish to pursue. This is something NZEI and NZPF have advocated strongly for.
Being well informed by overseas research is another issue NZEI and NZPF wish to see occur as this initiative develops. "Overseas research shows the 'Hollywood' model of a lead school being promoted at the expense of other schools has failed. For example, so-called Beacon Schools in Britain have not improved student learning," says Colin Tarr, "so we certainly wouldn't want to see failed overseas models imported into New Zealand."
The meetings that have occurred this week have resulted in an agreement to convene further talks to discuss the model and how best to utilize the resources appropriated for this initiative.