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School Principals Set Date On Continuing Policy Engagement

Media Release 23 March 2014

Attention: Education & Political Reporters

For immediate release

School Principals Set Date On Continuing Policy Engagement

Principals across the country have become increasingly concerned about the direction and implementation of the Investing in Educational Success proposition which was announced by the Prime Minister in January, and are now asking in increasing numbers why the Principals’ Federation remains engaged with the initiative.

'This proposition represents a major system change from within,' said NZPF President, Philip Harding. 'Parents and Boards have not been included in any discussion about its purpose or its direction, despite the obvious impact that it will have on all schools, and indeed on school governance,' he said.

After initially being impressed by the size of the resource and the offer to collaborate to shape the detail, it is now obvious that most principals will not be wooed by money to enact policy that could end up being harmful to children. Principals hold deep concerns about the direction in which the Government is taking education policy.

It has been noted that flawed national standards results are increasingly the measure that the Ministry plans to rely upon to determine and define all future success across primary schools, simply confirming that successful schools are those with affluent parents, and schools that get less successful results are in poorer areas.

'The delivery of such a game changing policy without transparent and effective change management planning has caused a great deal of concern as principals have joined the dots based on their previous experiences of Ministry policy implementation. The sector remains deeply concerned and sceptical about the true direction and intent of these sorts of initiatives.'

The NZPF will use the annual Regional Presidents’ Meeting, scheduled to be held in Wellington on 4 April, to fully debate and discuss the policy.

'With 120 regional presidents invited to attend, we will use the meeting as a watershed to consider all the implications of this policy, and will make further comment on Monday 7 April,' said Harding.

ENDS

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