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Boards come out well in report on curriculum

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Boards of trustees come out well in report on curriculum changes

School boards of trustees have come out well in the NZCER national surveys on curriculum changes, priorities and issues, says New Zealand School Trustees Association president Lorraine Kerr.

And this is good to see given the rather negative picture PPTA has painted of trusteeship in its conference paper, “Tomorrow’s Schools: Yesterday’s Mistake?”

Lorraine Kerr says the report indicates a high level of awareness and support by boards of trustees, as might be expected, but there are some surprising results.

“It is particularly interesting to note that student achievement was of more concern to trustees than teachers.

“The report does acknowledge, however, that overall achievement of all students in the school is naturally an important issue for trustees, while teachers would probably focus more on fostering the achievement of their own students.”

Boards of trustees commitment to student achievement is again reflected in the fact that the boards themselves are funding on average one equivalent full time teacher, over their entitlement, in each primary school, and an average of 2.5 teachers, over their entitlement, in each secondary school.

A lack of funding remains a big concern to 74% of boards of trustees and 53% of parents, with 39% of primary principals and 38% of secondary principals identifying a lack of money as a constraint to whole school change, she says.

When considering what principals see as the main barriers to school-wide change, it is interesting that lack of money, lack of time, staffing levels, lack of staff expertise and lack of staff commitment or energy continue to rank highly for both primary and secondary schools, says Lorraine Kerr.

Unsurprisingly, while time taken by assessment of NCEA had dropped since 2003, it continued to ranked highly (25%) for secondary schools.


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