Release of disappointing “new roles” report raises questions
3 June 2014
After four months of meetings with the education sector, the government has today released a very disappointing report on its $359 million plan involving new roles for principals and teachers.
The Investing in Educational Success (IES) policy was announced suddenly in January, and since then, sector groups have been scrambling to have input through confidential working groups and make sense of the new policy, which represents the most fundamental change in education in 25 years.
Today’s report shows that none of the key aspects of IES have altered, and any changes are minor tweaks around the edges.
NZEI Te Riu Roa Immediate Past President, Ian Leckie said parents, teachers and school communities had been left out of the discussion, even though IES represents a huge shift in the way schools will be managed.
The policy was promoted as a way to improve student success by putting “executive” principals across a cluster of 10 schools and taking “expert” teachers out of their classrooms to mentor teachers in other schools. However, there is no evidence that this will improve educational outcomes and it may even be detrimental to schools and students that lose their principals or teachers for two days a week. It will also impact on the role of boards of trustees and school/community relationships and teaching practice.
“This is a $359 million experiment, but at no point did the government ask parents or teachers how they thought this huge sum should be spent for the benefit of our children. We’ve basically been told, ‘this is what’s happening, feel free to argue for some minor adjustments,’” said Mr Leckie.
“It is a one-size-fits-all plan and totally ignores the particular circumstances of each school. The government has ridden roughshod over parents and communities’ knowledge of what their school needs,” he said.
The government’s next step will be to request a change to the collective agreements to include the new roles.
This will be an opportunity for NZEI members to consider the details and decide whether to negotiate over the new roles or reject the policy and work to convince the government to start again.