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Results speak for themselves say trustees

Results speak for themselves says trustees organisation

School trustees are questioning recent NZCER comments critical of principal appointments saying the vast majority of principal appointments are successful.

Lorraine Kerr, President of the New Zealand School Trustees Association, says in commenting on the survey, the NZCER has given a misleading impression of the trends in principal appointments.

“While the survey is interesting in terms of reasons for vacancies and supply of candidates, the NZCER could have focused more on “outcomes” rather than inputs. The survey also showed that 88% of board chairs said they were “very satisfied” with the appointment they had made.”

Lorraine Kerr says it would have also been useful for NZCER to acknowledge in their public comment that development of aspiring principals is already being trialled.

“Well over 90% of newly appointed principals attend a first time principal course which also provides for mentoring over the first part of their new principalship.”

She says the NZSTA finds it a little puzzling as to why there is a particular focus on the fact that only a quarter of appointments had a post graduate qualification while less than half had just a teaching degree and that one in five appointed had no qualification higher than a two-year teaching diploma.

“The survey results in fact show many appointees entered the education system when such qualifications were not a requirement, nor necessarily seen at that time as being as important as building a history of successful teaching and school management.”

Lorraine Kerr says despite the NZCER statements, boards have clear reasons for choosing their new principal.

“Forty-four percent of board chairs picked the “best person for the job/best fit for the school/met the job description”, with 43% identifying personal attributes. All of these are relevant within the context of an appointment process, dependent on the priority given by the individual board.”

The NZCER survey does provide some interesting information but there is nothing to suggest that bureaucrats would be any better at making appointments from afar than boards do having regard to the specific needs of their school.


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