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Government Proposal Needs More Thought Say School Principals

Media Release 12 March 2014

Attention: Education & Political Reporters

For immediate release

Government Proposal Needs More Thought Say School Principals

Acting President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF), Denise Torrey, has today expressed deep concerns that the $359m Government plan for enhancing school leadership is not based on reliable evidence and the money could end up being wasted in a failed experiment.

The Prime Minister announced a plan to pour $359m over four years into a scheme to pay some principals and teachers more so that other principals and teachers can share their expertise.

‘We welcome the injection of funds for enhancing leadership and collaborating with colleagues to improve outcomes for children,’ said Torrey. ‘Many in our profession are already doing that and these extra funds would go a long way to getting even better outcomes if used in the right way,’ she said.

‘Our objections are that a model is being rushed through without recourse to best evidence and shaping by the profession to ensure that this money is being spent in the best way possible.’

One aspect of the model proposes that executive principals will be selected for their expertise and will be paid extra to take two days a week out of their own schools to work with a cluster of ten other schools in their region.

‘No parents would be happy for their school’s very good principal to be absent nearly half the time.’ says Torrey.

‘What we need to do is scrap the proposed unworkable model and build another which is based on solid research evidence and which will genuinely give us a chance to improve outcomes especially for our priority learners,’ she said.

ENDS

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