Equity theme of summit

David Grant.
David Grant.
Sitting in a room with education ministers, teacher union representatives, and education leaders from 26 countries has left Big Rock School principal David Grant with a different perception of New Zealand's education system.

Mr Grant was one of a small group of New Zealand principals invited by the Ministry of Education to officially observe the International Summit on the Teaching Profession, in Wellington last month.

The summit was a global conversation centred around the theme ''Excellence, Equity and Inclusiveness - high-quality teaching for all''.

Mr Grant said each nation's representative shared initiatives which aimed to strengthen the profession and raise pupil achievement, but the main issue discussed was working out how to make education equitable.

''Education needs to be for everybody - it shouldn't be for those who have got the most money,'' Mr Grant said.

''The summit was about addressing the issue, sharing ideas that work, ideas that don't work, so that countries don't follow failed models.''

Mr Grant said he found the summit beneficial, and would discuss what he had learned with staff.

''One thing the summit gave me was a clearer understanding of why the Government is taking the education direction that we are - with things like national standards and the new expert principals structure.''

The New Zealand delegation, made up of Education Minister Hekia Parata and representatives from the Secondary Principals' Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Educational Institute and the Post Primary Teachers' Association, presented two main plans for action that came from the summit.

Ms Parata said the summit was an opportunity to work with other successful education systems from around the world, and agree on actions New Zealand can take to improve its education system.

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