Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Ministry’s move on complaints a step in the right direction

Ministry’s move on complaints a small step in the right direction says leading early childhood organisation.

The Ministry of Education says it intends to release information about complaints brought against early childhood education services to the public, but this is just a small step in the right direction, says early childhood network ChildForum.

ChildForum, last year, requested information under the Official Information Act about complaints laid against ECE services during 2012, and the action taken. Some of the information requested was provided by the Ministry and formed the basis of a report, which can be read on the My ECE website, as well as being widely reported in the media.

This year, ChildForum requested the same information for complaints laid in 2013.

However, the Ministry declined the request because, it says, the information will soon be publicly available.

The Ministry’s response states that it has decided to publish details about complaints received in 2013 on its website and the information is scheduled for release in May. This is the first time that such information has been made publicly available in this manner; however, it will only be in summarised form.

ChildForum chief executive Dr Sarah Farquhar said the release of information was a small step in the right direction, but did not necessarily go far enough.

“I am pleased that the Ministry is finally acknowledging public interest in problems in ECE services and how they have been dealt with,” she said.

“However this acknowledgement is only coming after pressure has been applied and is, in my opinion, insufficient.”

The Ministry has stated that the information will be summarised and listed under categories such as behaviour management, accidents, and general governance. It has also said it will not include details of the services against which the complaint was made. This is to protect privacy and, under Section 9(2)(b)(ii) of the Official Information Act, to protect information where making that information available “would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information”.

Dr Farquhar said not naming individual services meant parents could not be fully informed about the service they may choose for their child. She challenged the Ministry to be more transparent saying that showing that an ECE service has responded positively to a problem could actually enhance its reputation and therefore its commercial position, while the public also deserved to know if individual services were not improving.

“The Ministry should be supporting parents and family members to be fully informed about an early childhood education service, particularly if complaints of a serious nature have been laid,” she said.

“Greater transparency would allow families and the public to know what has happened at a service and assess whether sufficient changes have occurred that a similar problem may not happen again. Without such transparency, gossip can do more harm to an ECE service’s reputation than keeping the name of the service secret.

“It is also unfair on services against whom no serious complaints have been reported because many are tarnished by the few bad ones.”

Dr Farquhar said she would watch with interest to see how much detail was included by the Ministry when the information was published.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Electric Sheep: Light Nelson Exceeds All Expectations

Light Nelson exceeded all expectations drawing over 40,000 people over two nights to the Queens Gardens and surrounds. The event, with over 40 installations from local and national artists, is in its second year, and organisers were hoping they’d top last year’s crowd of 16,000. More>>

MacGyver: Richard Dean Anderson To Attend Armageddon This October

New Zealand’s biggest pulp-culture event, the Armageddon Expo is proud to announce the world’s most recognised DIY action hero will be attending the Auckland event at the ASB Showgrounds from October 24th to 27th. More>>

ALSO:

Barbershop Gold: Māori Party Singing Praises Of The Musical Island Boys

The Maori Party has congratulated four young men on a mission, who in 2002 took up barbershop singing at Tawa College, and tonight took out the Gold Medal in the 2014 International Barbershop Harmony Society competitions in Las Vegas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news