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Principals Go Back To School

3 April 2002

Nearly 200 principals are back to school this week as part of the government’s new principal leadership and development programme.

The new first time principals are taking part in the first principals’ induction course being held in Auckland this week. Education Minister Trevor Mallard spoke to the principals this morning.

“The principal is the critical factor in the success of a school. From an education standards perspective, if we can help principals do their job better - we will make a huge difference to the quality of education across all our schools,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The step up to being a principal is an enormous professional challenge. Many experienced principals have described to me the struggle of the first few years. After a few years, they look back and think: “If I knew what I know now, it would have been a lot easier.’ I believe that if principals are better prepared, we will have better schools and better learning.”

In last year’s budget, the government set aside $27 million over four years for principal leadership and development.

Other aspects of the initiative include:

- Laptops for principals (starting with the new principals)

- A dedicated portal for principals and administrators providing essential information and services

- A private online network for principals.

The 198 new first time principals on this week’s course come from throughout the country. Some have already started their jobs, while others start in term two. The majority (136) come from full state primary and intermediate schools. There are also principals from secondary schools (27); integrated schools (19); kura kaupapa Maori (12) and special schools (4).

Trevor Mallard said the four day residential course is designed to support new principals in understanding their role as an educational leader, clarify how they monitor school culture and build strong internal and external relationships.


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