Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Ministry’s move on complaints a step in the right direction

Ministry’s move on complaints a small step in the right direction says leading early childhood organisation.

The Ministry of Education says it intends to release information about complaints brought against early childhood education services to the public, but this is just a small step in the right direction, says early childhood network ChildForum.

ChildForum, last year, requested information under the Official Information Act about complaints laid against ECE services during 2012, and the action taken. Some of the information requested was provided by the Ministry and formed the basis of a report, which can be read on the My ECE website, as well as being widely reported in the media.

This year, ChildForum requested the same information for complaints laid in 2013.

However, the Ministry declined the request because, it says, the information will soon be publicly available.

The Ministry’s response states that it has decided to publish details about complaints received in 2013 on its website and the information is scheduled for release in May. This is the first time that such information has been made publicly available in this manner; however, it will only be in summarised form.

ChildForum chief executive Dr Sarah Farquhar said the release of information was a small step in the right direction, but did not necessarily go far enough.

“I am pleased that the Ministry is finally acknowledging public interest in problems in ECE services and how they have been dealt with,” she said.

“However this acknowledgement is only coming after pressure has been applied and is, in my opinion, insufficient.”

The Ministry has stated that the information will be summarised and listed under categories such as behaviour management, accidents, and general governance. It has also said it will not include details of the services against which the complaint was made. This is to protect privacy and, under Section 9(2)(b)(ii) of the Official Information Act, to protect information where making that information available “would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information”.

Dr Farquhar said not naming individual services meant parents could not be fully informed about the service they may choose for their child. She challenged the Ministry to be more transparent saying that showing that an ECE service has responded positively to a problem could actually enhance its reputation and therefore its commercial position, while the public also deserved to know if individual services were not improving.

“The Ministry should be supporting parents and family members to be fully informed about an early childhood education service, particularly if complaints of a serious nature have been laid,” she said.

“Greater transparency would allow families and the public to know what has happened at a service and assess whether sufficient changes have occurred that a similar problem may not happen again. Without such transparency, gossip can do more harm to an ECE service’s reputation than keeping the name of the service secret.

“It is also unfair on services against whom no serious complaints have been reported because many are tarnished by the few bad ones.”

Dr Farquhar said she would watch with interest to see how much detail was included by the Ministry when the information was published.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: And The Oscar Goes To … Parasite
For its deliciously dark wit and genre-bending ingenuity, Bong Joon-ho's latest movie has just won four out of a potential six Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Director. Only ten foreign-language films have previously been nominated for Best Picture and none have won before. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>


Floorball: NZ To Host World Cup Of Floorball In 2022

In a major coup for a minnow nation in the European-dominated sport of floorball, New Zealand has won the rights to host one of the sport’s marque international events. More>>

National Voyage Continues: Tuia 250 Ends

Tuia 250 has unleashed an unstoppable desire to keep moving forward and continue the kōrero about who we are, say the co-chairs of the Tuia 250 National Coordinating Committee, Dame Jenny Shipley and Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. More>>

ALSO:

Over 150 Productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has Launched

The upcoming festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and more! More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 


 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland