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'Hire and hope' policy is failing schools

Allan Peachey
National Party Associate Education Spokesman

20 February 2006

‘Hire and hope’policy is failing schools

National’s Associate Education spokesman, Allan Peachey, says Labour’s ‘hire and hope’ approach to school principals leaves boards and communities powerless to act if their performance is not up to scratch.

He is commenting on the resignation of the entire board of trustees at Swanson Primary School in protest at the performance of the new principal.

This comes less than two weeks after the resignation of the board at Tauhara College in Taupo on similar grounds.

Mr Peachey, a former principal at Auckland’s Rangitoto College, says Labour must take another look at the employment relationship between principals and their boards.

“Labour’s policies make it very difficult to remove a principal from a school, even when the board is dissatisfied with their performance.

“The current policy is seeing the wrong people in our schools resign when things go wrong. Boards are, in effect, principals’ employers. The buck ultimately stops with them –they should have greater powers when it comes to employment matters.

“Anything less than total accountability is an insult to the parents who give up their time to be on boards and trust the school with their kids’ education,” says Mr Peachey.

ENDS

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