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Specialised training for first-time principals

28 August 2001 Media Statement

Specialised training for first-time school principals

First time principals will have access to specialised training during the first year of their jobs from the beginning of next year.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today that the Government's policy to provide better support for principals would include an intensive induction programme for first time principals.

Trevor Mallard announced today that a contract to design the new induction programme had been won by Waikato University in partnership with Massey University and the New Zealand Principals¡¦ Federation.

"About 180 first time principals are appointed to New Zealand schools each year. We expect most of them will take up this opportunity which will help them be effective as soon as they take up their new responsibilities,¡¨ Trevor Mallard said.

¡§Getting the programme right will be crucial to the success of this initiative, and I am impressed with the expertise and experience of the team that will be working together on this project to see that this is achieved. ¡§

Other initiatives the Government is taking to enhance the skills of school principals in leadership and management include:

„h Development centres to help principals and their boards to identify priorities for professional development for individual principals;

„h A guideline setting out the types of professional development principals should consider undertaking at different times in their careers;

„h An electronic network, with a facilitated discussion forum, examples of good leadership and management practice and leased laptops. This network will give principals the opportunity to collaborate and share good leadership and management practice, and to develop their information and communication technology skills.
The Budget set aside $27.4 million over four years, including $19 million of new funding, for the initiatives.

Trevor Mallard said work on all of the initiatives was progressing well.

¡§I am keen to have the sector closely engaged on this very important set of initiatives, so a reference group of sector representatives is being set up to advise on their implementation.

¡§The job of the school principal is a complex and important one, and the capability of the principal is directly linked to teacher and school effectiveness,¡¨ said Trevor Mallard.

¡§Principals have indicated to me that more comprehensive support is needed in their first year as a principal. I agree. This Government has listened closely to their views, and the new induction programme will provide the support they need.¡¨

ENDS

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