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Government Support For Principals

Six hundred school principals will have brand new laptop computers in their offices by the end of March, under a Government initiative to build their leadership and management capability.

Within three years, the principals of all 2,700-plus state and integrated schools would have them as part of a package announced in last year’s budget worth about $27 million over four years.

Speaking at the New Zealand Principals Federation annual moot in Wellington today, Education Minister Trevor Mallard outlined rollout details of the Government’s Principal Leadership and Development Programme.

As well as the laptops, the programme includes:

 Induction training for all first time principals.

 A dedicated portal for principals and administrators providing essential information and services.

 A private online network for principals.

Trevor Mallard said that the initial supply by Toshiba and Renaissance NZ Ltd of 600 laptop computers are going to first time principals and those in 180 remote rural schools. The government has paid $1.8 million for these laptops.

“They will support principals in all aspects of their school management, and with activities associated with the leadership programme being introduced in 2002. The programme provides exciting opportunities for principals and will meet their needs at all different stages of their careers.

“At the beginning of next month, the first residential courses for newly appointed first time principals will take place. They’ll be followed by courses in July and September. This term facilitators will be visiting first-time principals in their schools.

“Also next month we will launch the LeadSpace portal – currently in its final stages of initial development. Through LeadSpace principals will have easy access to information, support and facilitated guidance. This will provide an environment where principals can work together, learn from each other, and access key information and support. The network will build professional capability and successful school management and leadership through professional dialogue.”

“The three critical factors that will make sure the leadership and management development programme is successful, are reliable technology, professional development, and ongoing support.

“We are well on the way to implementation,” Trevor Mallard said.

Ends

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