Mallard:First-Time Principals' Induction Programme
Fri, 24 Sep 2004
First-Time Principals' Induction Programme
Hon Trevor Mallard Speech to First-Time
Principals' Induction Programme, Kingsgate
to First-Time Principals' Induction Programme, Kingsgate
Thank you for the invitation to join
you here today. I really appreciate
the opportunity to talk to New Zealand's newest principals about
educational leadership and the future of our schools.
I hope you are
enjoying the ride so far. I have received very
reports about the impact that this induction programme is having on new
principals. Old hands often tell me they wish they'd had this
become principals at a very exciting time for educational
in New Zealand.
Some great initiatives are
underway to support principals. We are looking
forward to what teaching and learning will involve in the future, and how
we can best equip our educational leaders to excel.
Key to this process is the development of the Schooling Strategy.
Input from educational leaders like
yourselves will be crucial in doing
analysed the feedback on the initial discussion document,
Bigger Difference for all Students, and appreciate the time people have
put into responding.
The second stage of the development of the strategy will
areas within the themes of quality teaching and engaged families/whânau
and communities - the things government thinks we need to focus on in the
next five years.
You will have the chance to let me
know if you think we're on the right
track, and what needs to happen to make improvements in these areas.
Smart use of technology will help us get to where we want to be.
I encourage you all to make regular use of Leadspace and
If you make it the home page on
your computer you'll automatically see new
updates when you log on in the morning before any teachers, parents or
students get a chance to distract you.
You will be
interested in a programme I saw in action recently
Wellington Girls College which really impressed me because it was such an
effective and incredibly novel approach to using information
communications technology (ICT).
Tech Angels works within the college to help
teachers, while also
improving student learning outcomes.
The Tech Angels are students who offer their
time to coach and support
teachers in their use of ICT, mentor their peers, and attend to
computer-related problems in class or across the school.
In return, the
angels receive extra ICT training and technology
from a tertiary education provider, Natcoll Design Technology, and staff
at CWA New Media.
It's a great programme that is delivering benefits all round.
While new technology creates challenges for some of
us, it offers great
This leads me to the
question of how you, as educational leaders, fit into
the schools of the future.
How can we help you to develop your
leadership skills in a way that
enables you to adapt to the technological advances, changing demographics
and pedagogical challenges you will be facing as principals?
Obviously the First-Time Principals Induction Programme
is an important
first step and I hope that you are finding the programme rewarding.
Development Planning Centres aim to support you once
have completed five years as a principal.
provide principals with an opportunity to work with their
consider and evaluate their professional skills and knowledge.
At the end of the process we expect that
each principal will have a
personalised professional development plan and support to implement its
I imagine this process will raise
some important and possibly contentious
questions, like what an educational leader will be like? Are educational
leaders only those who hold formal leadership positions, or are there
educational leaders at all levels in schools?
It will also ask us what a good educational
leader does, and how we best
support our leaders to reflect these capabilities in their work?
you will play a key role in developing and supporting
culture, ethos and character of your school. A school's culture is
reflected in many ways - from its professional reputation - such as its
success in raising education standards for its students, its success in
music or sport, to the way a schools' students act inside and outside the
their own mottos, and school songs, many schools have
own haka, they have their own uniforms and their own traditions in terms
of academic or sports prize givings, sports days or annual concerts or
all tells me that schools are perfectly well placed to also
their own special "kawa" or protocols in areas such as powhiri, where
visitors are formally welcomed. I do think that it's important that
schools develop protocols around these issues which are appropriate for
the school community as a whole.
We expect the
school system to promote the equality of all students, and
am particularly mindful of the hard fought battle of women for equality
across society and the economy.
week I was privileged to listen to Mareta Taute from Sacred
College in Wellington when she was welcomed back and congratulated by her
school. Mareta was the runner up in a national Maori speech competition.
Yet what ran
through my mind was the number of powhiri I attend at
schools where female students - unlike at Sacred Heart College - are
relegated to a supporting role.
While it is important to respect the traditions and
place of mana whenua,
it is important that this is not at the expense of the ideals and
traditions of New Zealand education and its commitment to equality for
think we also need to strike an appropriate balance between
available for a welcome and the time to be spent with staff and students
when dignitaries visit schools.
It is disappointing when welcomes leave too
little time for interaction
with the school community, and this does happen from time to time.
There is another
unrelated matter that goes to the heart of
responsibility. We have a growing number of immersion or bilingual units
within our mainstream schools. And overall they have been doing a really
good job - some for nearly 20 years.
However, it has come to my
attention that in a small minority of cases
principals have not been able to supervise these units effectively because
they have been shut out of the classrooms because they cannot speak
This is unacceptable.
Principals have to be able to exercise leadership
across the school.
You have responsibilities for the education
that your students receive in
these units, you have a responsibility to spend time in them, to monitor
teacher performance and to ensure your education objectives for your
students are being achieved.
I want to spend a
brief time also touching on another aspect of
that I'm becoming increasingly concerned about - and it goes also to my
other responsibility as Sport and Recreation Minister.
Research is telling us that the
overall physical activity levels of
children and young people are declining. A growing proportion of children
and adolescents are insufficiently active to gain health benefits, and
surveys have clearly tracked this trend.
In 2001, 13 per cent of young people aged
between five and 17 years of age
were sedentary, compared to 8 per cent in 1997.
Only 62 per cent of those between
13 and 15 years of age reported being
active in 2001,that is doing more than two and a half hours of physical
activity a week, compared to 74 per cent in 1997. Physical activity rates
for young Maori are also down, from 75 per cent in1997 to 66 per cent in
2001. Pacific youth are among the most inactive, with only 52 per cent
being active on a regular basis.
picture is not good - not the least because of the
this has on children's health. I would really urge you to think seriously
about this issue, and do all you can within your schools to encourage
Before finishing, I would like to let you know
the outcomes of the Working
Party on Primary Principals' Appointments.
The Working Party considered the appointment
processes for primary
principals, with a view to achieving agreed guidelines.
We all know that the most
critical decision a board makes is the one which
all of your boards have done in the past year or so - the appointment of
Given this level of
importance to schools and the challenges inherent in
all appointments, the parties agreed to a 'good practice' process for
primary principal appointments.
pleased that this 'good practice' process has been agreed
collaboratively. Once it has been widely promulgated, I hope it is able
to help boards in this very important aspect of their work.
I hope that your
time here at the second residential is enjoyable
rewarding. I wish you all the best in leading your schools to achieving