Invitations to join project

The Ministry of Education has begun establishing a working group of leaders from the wider education sector to help develop the Government's $359 million education initiative which aims to improve pupil achievement.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said the initiative, which proposes to introduce four new roles in New Zealand schools, would help to further recognise highly-capable teachers and principals, keep good teachers in the classroom, and share expertise across schools.

The new roles - executive principal, expert teacher, lead teacher and change principal - will be introduced to schools from the beginning of next year, in a bid to lift the achievement of pupils in New Zealand schools.

The initiative was given the thumbs up by many in Otago's education system, including educational leadership and administration senior lecturer Darrell Latham, of the University of Otago College of Education, who described it as ''a winner''.

''This really is a good news story and, in my view, is an excellent initiative which I am sure will be greeted positively by those in the education sector,'' he said.

To ensure the ministry gets the best design detail for the initiative, Ms Parata has given Secretary for Education Peter Hughes the task of setting up a working group of education sector representatives.

Invitations have been sent to New Zealand School Trustees' Association president Lorraine Kerr, Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa chief executive and Educanz Transition Board member Nancy Bell, New Zealand Educational Institute president Judith Nowotarski, Post Primary Teachers' Association president Angela Roberts, New Zealand Principals' Federation president Philip Harding, Secondary Principals' Association of New Zealand president Tom Parsons, New Zealand Area Schools' Association president John Garner, Te Runanga Nui o nga Kura Kaupapa Maori o Aotearoa tiamana Toni Waho, Nga Kura a Iwi o Aotearoa deputy chairwoman and Educanz Transition Board member Arihia Stirling, New Zealand Association of Intermediate and Middle Schooling president Ross Tyson, and Pasifika Principals' Association president Unasa Enosa Auva'a.

Ms Parata said the initiative drew on what the profession said it needed, what the best performing countries were doing, and what international research and evidence had showed works.

''The Government has a clear plan to raise achievement across the board, which aims for five out of five students to get the qualifications they need to reach their potential.

''This new initiative will be instrumental in ensuring we have the best quality teaching in all our classrooms to help achieve that goal.''

- john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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