Otago principals have backed a New Zealand Principals'
Federation (NZPF) survey which shows schools across the country
are vehemently opposed to the Government's $359 million
Investing in Educational Success (IES) policy.
The policy aims to bolster collaborative practice within and
between New Zealand schools and invest in lifting children's
achievement, by introducing four new roles within schools -
executive principal, expert teacher, lead teacher and change
Although the NZPF supports the notion of the initiative, it
says the IES policy is the wrong model to achieve the
NZPF president Philip Harding this week released a survey of
more than 1000 principals across the country, which clearly
showed they had no confidence IES could achieve ''a strong
collaborative culture for schools, nor lift the achievement
of especially our priority learners''.
''The survey showed overwhelming opposition and concern ...
''They say that the model is too complex and inflexible in
its present form to deliver on its goals, and principals
would rather see this money moved closer to classrooms and
children, than have it spent on topping up salaries for a
Otago Primary Principals' Association chairwoman Stephanie
Madden said the survey reflected the sentiments of local
''The bulk of the money in the current proposal is going
towards additional salaries for a few principals and
''We believe this money could be far better spent on things
that we know will make a difference - teacher aide support
for children with learning needs, support for children with
behavioural needs, access to quality professional development
for schools, to name a few.''
Mrs Madden said Otago schools already collaborated and worked
together for a variety of reasons and they were keen to
continue to do so.
''But there needs to be a common goal or purpose for this
collaboration to work.
''If this model is forced on to schools, we do not believe it
will achieve the goal of raising achievement.
''Each school's context is so different, and a
one-size-fits-all approach will not work.''
The Otago Secondary Principals' Association secretary, Gordon
He said the association believed the design of IES was too
restrictive and there needed to be more flexibility.
The idea of support and working together as a group of
schools was something Dunedin secondary schools were already
doing, he said.
''The Dunedin Secondary Schools' Partnership is an example of
a collaborative model where the schools work together over a
number of things - including student achievement.''
Instead of a school having an executive principal from a
neighbouring school to help improve the school's operations
and pupil achievement, the DSSP provides a group of
principals and teachers with vast experience to help Dunedin
secondary schools with any issues they might have, he said.
''You could have a collective working together to improve
student achievement within a cluster of schools. It doesn't
need one person to run it.
''The other issue is, if you're going to have schools
collaborating, you've got to allow schools to establish their
''For the Ministry of Education to arbitrarily say these are
the clusters, that the ministry will decide what the clusters
are, that doesn't necessarily work either.
''If there's flexibility, we're all for it,'' he said.