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: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

Theatre: The F Word: Sex Without The 'ism'

Sex without the 'ism' Okay, so the sexes are equal in the eyes of the law. What the F happens now? More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Don’t Eat The Fish

On 'The Catch' by Michael Field What the ecologically edible lists don’t appear to take into account – and they should – is slavery... It’s not an easy read, but it’s definitely near the top of my listicle of “5 Political Books You Must Read This Year”. More>>

ALSO:

Caracals: Small Cats With Big Ears Arrive At Wellington Zoo

Visitors to Wellington Zoo will be able to see New Zealand’s first Caracals in the Zoo’s new Grassland Cats habitat, with a special visitor opening day on Saturday 27 September. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Classics - Tales From Moominvalley
Can’t speak for the reading end of it but the Moomins ( or maybe the story about Margaret Wise Brown) were the most enjoyable subject to think about and write about during these whole first 50 issues of Werewolf. For that reason – and because the Moomins always reward re-reading – I’ve decided to reprint it. The only added element is a link to an interesting hour long documentary about Tove Jansson. More>>

ALSO:

Repping In The Pacific: All Blacks And Manu Samoa To Play Historic Apia Test

The All Blacks will play Manu Samoa in Apia on Wednesday 8 July next year as part of both teams’ preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news