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Regulatory review could bring more negative reform

It’s still a fortnight away but the Ministry of Education’s report on the review of the regulatory framework for schools is already causing concern amongst the 400 representatives at the 116th annual meeting of NZEI Te Riu Roa.

“We are concerned that the ministry may be using the review to introduce negative change under the guise of the “F” and “C” words of the 1990s—flexibility and choice,” he said. “Official papers suggest the intention is more far-reaching than what the ministry describes as a ‘fine-tuning’ of Tomorrow’s Schools, and could lead to yet another era of radical and harmful reforms.”

NZEI members have been asked to be wary of such ministry calls for change. Behind the positive-sounding veneer may lie requirements for even more bureaucratic accountability and that means even less time spent on learning and teaching.

Problems already identified in the ministry’s approach are that the review could be yet another attempt to introduce compulsory national testing by another name. Some representatives are also concerned that the ministry may try to further blur the lines between state and private education providers, especially in terms of special education support.

Still other NZEI members worry that the review could propose changes with regard to boards of trustees that could undermine the crucially important partnership between communities, parents, schools and government.

The review will be presented to annual meeting representatives tonight at 6:10 pm and will be discussed at a workshop tomorrow at 1:10 pm.

END

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