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Govt, sector in joint secondary schooling project

11 September 2003 Media Statement

Govt, sector in joint secondary schooling project

Education Minister Trevor Mallard and education sector representatives today announced a unique collaborative project that will look at the future of secondary schooling in New Zealand, with the aim of lifting the success of our secondary students.

The four guardians of the Secondary Futures project, who will guide and lead the debate and associated work, were also announced today.

They are Massey University assistant vice-chancellor Professor Mason Durie, teacher and former Silver Fern Bernice Mene, Dunedin businessman Ian Taylor and education specialist Gillian Heald. The guardians will work with the education community on the Secondary Futures – Hoenga Auaha Taiohi project.

“Secondary Futures aims to stimulate and share thinking on what secondary schooling should be like in 20 years time and the best ways to improve student outcomes,” Trevor Mallard said.

“After years of change and reform, a clear vision of the role and function of secondary schooling is needed.

“The best way for this vision to be created is to try a different approach. Instead of the government and ministers driving the work, the education community, alongside the government, will lead the charge.

“I have consulted with the education sector and together we have arrived at a framework that we hope will be open, constructive and inclusive.

“This approach will put government and the sector on an equal footing in an environment of mutual responsibility, trust and commitment.

“Secondary Futures aims to reach a consensus about the issues that really matter when it comes to influencing the successful schooling of our children. It will then decide how schools, teachers, training institutes, families, students and government can build on, or improve, what they do now to move the system forward.

“The guardians have been chosen because they are inspirational people, with strong interests in education and proven strengths in innovation.

“I am confident that they can lead a national discussion on the best ways to ensure our students are equipped with 21st Century skills and that all our students, regardless of their background, are given the chance to reach their full potential.

“These are important goals which this government has set as our education priorities - they are vitally important for our economic growth and development as a country.

"Now the project has been announced, the secretariat can be appointed. Their first task will be to work with the guardians to develop the project plan, and to commence the information gathering and consultation processes," Trevor Mallard said.

Whilst there is no set timeframe, the project it is expected to run over at least three and up to six years.

Questions and answers, and profiles of the guardians are attached.

Hoenga Auaha Taiohi


What is the translation of the Maori name?
The Maori name talks about paddling together and moving forward, to shape the future for youth.

What is the purpose of the Secondary Futures Project?
The project aims to develop a broad ranging discussion about what secondary schooling in New Zealand should be like in 20 years time. Its main focus is to develop ways to improve teaching and learning so that we continue to improve student outcomes in the face of the many challenges and changes impacting on the secondary schooling sector.

How did it come about?
In light of feeling from the education sector that there was a need to clarify the government’s plans for secondary, the Labour Party’s 2002 Election Manifesto included a commitment to establish an independent body to investigate “how we can shape our system to best help children achieve.”

From the beginning of 2003, Education Minister Trevor Mallard began discussions with the education community about how they felt such a project could best be structured.

Cabinet approved funding to support the project in April 2003. Since that time, the education community has been working with the Minister to create the project framework.

Who has been involved in developing the project framework?
The following groups and individuals have worked to develop the project framework:
 Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)
 Association of Colleges of Education of NZ
 Te Runanga Nui o nga Kura Kaupapa Maori
 NZ School Trustees Association
 Secondary Principals Association NZ
 PPTA Principals Council
 Roger Field - NZ Vice Chancellors Committee
 Tony Hall - Community Colleges NZ
 NZ Parent Teacher Association
 NZ Educational Institute
 Education Review Office
 Ministry of Education
 New Zealand Qualifications Authority

How will the Secondary Futures Project be run?
The Secondary Futures Project has a three-part structure.

There will be a group of four ‘guardians’ to lead the project.

A small secretariat (that is independent of, but located within the Ministry of Education) will administer the project and manage information gathering.

In addition, a Touchstone Reference Group will be formed from the education community with whom the guardians can seek advice and test theories.

Who are the guardians?
Professor Mason Durie, Bernice Mene, Ian Taylor and Gillian Heald
(See attached profiles)

What is their role?
 To lead and be ‘the face’ of the project
 To build trust and confidence in the project
 To protect the integrity of the project and give it independence from government and education bodies
 To encourage and inspire participation and debate
 To announce the progress and findings of the project

Who makes up the Touchstone Group?
Representatives from the following groups will be invited to join the Touchstone Group. In addition to the groups listed, members will be sourced to provide additional representation for students, new teachers and Maori and Pasifika communities. Membership may change over time as particular issues arise and are resolved.
 Secondary Principals Association NZ
 NZ Educational Institute
 Te Akatea (Maori Principals, Deputy and Assistant Principals Association)
 PPTA Principals Council
 Te Runanga Nui o nga Kura Kaupapa Maori
 NZ School Trustees Association
 NZ Parent Teacher Association
 Growth and Innovation Advisory Board
 NZ Vice Chancellors Committee
 Rural community
 Association of Polytechnics of NZ
 Association of Colleges of Education of NZ

What is the Touchstone Group’s role?
The guardians and secretariat need a focussed group of key stakeholders to debate specific issues and test ideas with, and from whom they can draw experience and knowledge. The Touchstone Group will fill this role. It will also receive and present ideas and feedback from the wider community and keep sector groups informed and involved in the project.

How will the Secondary Futures Project be funded?
In April 2003 Cabinet approved initial funding totalling $987,000 to support the project. As this is a long-term project, it is anticipated that further funding will be made available in the future.

What will result from the Secondary Futures Project?
The result of the Secondary Futures Project will not be a specific set of reports or a binding document. Secondary Futures will create a process for the government and education sector to work together in a flexible and innovative environment. The project will chart a way forward for improving teaching and learning processes. The type of questions that need answering include:
 What should the core purpose of secondary education be in 20 years time?
 What constitutes a successful school leaver?
 How can we ensure more school leavers are successful?
 How will the role of teachers change in the next 20 years?
 How can teachers and effective teaching practices be supported and enhanced?
 How will the role of government, the profession, primary and tertiary sectors, family and community need to change to support an effective secondary school system?

What benefits can result from the Secondary Futures Project?
 An improvement in teaching and learning processes
 Teachers having a greater sense of control and confidence in their methods
 Students becoming more successful learners

How long will the Secondary Futures Project take?
It is anticipated that Secondary Futures will be an ongoing project over a period of three to six years. There is intentionally no pre-set timeframe for the project but a relatively intensive period of activity is expected in the first year as it is established.

How can I find out more?
Until the secretariat is established (this is expected to take place in October), please contact Polly Schaverien, Senior Advisor, Office of Hon. Trevor Mallard at


The Guardians

Professor Mason Durie is assistant vice-chancellor at Massey University. He is a senior Mäori academic and a public figure of high standing - a leading contributor to public debates across a range of issues including the future of education in New Zealand (for example through his contribution to the Hui Taumata Matauranga). He has extensive experience in governance and management roles for government, university and private sector bodies. His iwi affiliations are Rangitane, Ngati Kauwhata and Ngati Raukawa.

Bernice Mene is a national sporting hero having represented NZ at netball for 10 years and playing 78 tests for the Silver Ferns. Auckland-based, Bernice Mene is a qualified teacher and positive role model for young people. Her work has included a variety of community service roles including work with Pasifika youth. Her participation will strengthen opportunities to engage with young people.

Gillian Heald is a respected educational leader and former principal with extensive experience in teaching, school leadership, change management and contributions to education policy. From Christchurch, Gillian Heald has made strong contributions to a wide range of educational and community causes, and has a record of fostering innovation.

Ian Taylor is a successful and high profile Dunedin businessman – a Mäori entrepreneur with interests in applied information technology and multimedia.
In 1990 he established Animation Research Limited which quickly established itself as a leading computer animation companies, winning awards nationally and internationally for work such as the ground breaking 3D America's Cup graphics. He has experience in governance and change management and has contributed to policy development including the Growth and Innovation ICT (information and communications technology) taskforce and the Knowledge Wave trust.

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