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

 
Scoop Review Of Books: Trading Places

Greg Clydesdale, a lecturer in business at Lincoln University, has written a comprehensive account of global trade from the seventh century to modern times. More>>

Sheep: Shearing Record Smashed In Hawke’s Bay

Three shearers gathered from around New Zealand have smashed a World record by 264 sheep despite the heat, the pumiced sheep of inland Hawke’s Bay and a year’s wool weighing an average of over 3.5kg a sheep. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Education
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news