Parents vent on Tomorrow's Schools plan

Tomorrow's Schools task force member Barbara Ala'alatoa addresses a public meeting in Dunedin last night. Photos: Peter McIntosh
Tomorrow's Schools task force member Barbara Ala'alatoa addresses a public meeting in Dunedin last night. Photos: Peter McIntosh
The national education conversation reached Dunedin last night as educators and parents took the opportunity to vent frustrations about the Government's review of the school administration system.

The future role of boards of trustees, the planned structure of schools, the effect on integrated schools, the relationship between early childhood, schools and the tertiary sector, and the loss of educational psychologists were among the wide variety of topics raised by about 50 parents and educators at the Dunedin Centre meeting.

Two members of the task force reviewing Tomorrow's Schools (the name given to the reforms that dramatically changed the governance, management and administration of our schools nearly 30 years ago), Mere Berryman and Barbara Ala'alatoa, were at the meeting.

Members of the public at the public meeting last night
Members of the public at the public meeting last night
The task force is consulting on its draft report, and last night conceded it would need to clarify its intentions after hearing feedback on the night's hot topic - the length of tenure for school principals.

The task force proposes principals be permanently employed by regional education hubs, but with their placements at schools reviewed every five years.

Many at the meeting felt that could weaken a principal's attachment to their school, could see principals forced to move from a school they wanted to stay at, or could leave schools continually having to get used to new principals and new methods.

Ms Ala'alatoa stressed there was nothing compulsory about a teacher moving from a school.

She set out the eight areas the task force was seeking feedback on: governance; schooling provision; competition and choice; disability and learning support; teaching; leadership; resourcing; and central government agencies.

The task force's draft report made more than 80 significant recommendations for changes to the present education system.

Feedback on the recommendations will be gathered from the public consultation meetings and will be presented to the Government in April to help inform Government decision-making in 2019. - Additional reporting by John Lewis

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment