Canterbury Apology Prompts Call for Genuine Consultation
President of the New Zealand Principals' Federation, Whetu Cormick, has acknowledged the apology offered today to his Canterbury colleagues by the Secretary for Education saying, 'We hope that we will never again witness such disgraceful behaviour from politicians and education officials as we did in 2012.'
The apology issued to Canterbury schools and communities followed the Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier's, scathing report on the handling of school mergers and closures after the 2011 earthquakes.
'There is much to be learned from the dreadfully unfair process by which the Ombudsman states schools and communities were given inaccurate and insufficient information,' said Cormick.
'We have seen too many examples over the past decade of sham consultation on legislation changes and new policy implementation where public commentary has been completely ignored,' he said.
'We look forward to a future in which we can engage meaningfully in genuine partnership with the Minister and her Ministry staff, beginning with the development of an area strategy for future closures and mergers which will include and value the voice of the profession and their school communities,' said Cormick.