The New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) President, Leanne Otene, congratulates the new Minister of Education, Erica Stanford and looks forward to working with her.
“We realise that today’s announcement gives only a taste of the education policy portfolio,” said Otene, “and we are optimistic that the new Minister, Erica Stanford, shares our aspiration to provide the very best educational opportunities to our tamariki.”
One new policy is that teachers will teach one hour of reading, writing and mathematics each day.
“I would be very surprised if most schools do not already teach an hour each of reading, writing and mathematics every day,” said Otene. “We have always had a strong focus on those basics, as building blocks to future learning, and teachers use their professional judgement as to how that is achieved,” she said.
“When we examine the academic achievement levels of our young people, relative to other countries such as Australia, we find, over the last decade, there has been a slight dip in achievement on international measures, which is small. What has remained resistant to change is the gap between the highest and lowest achievers, and that too is a global issue,” she said.
A second policy is that ‘Partnership’ schools, formerly known as ‘Charter’ schools, would be reintroduced.
“We have had this schooling option before and found that it was not popular. Very few schools of this type could provide a quality education and they were not required to have certified teachers. Largely they were seen as emanating from a neo-liberal ideology. We expect that what the new Government has in mind for ‘partnership’ schools would not follow this pattern,” she said.
“We look forward to working with our new Minister on those pressing issues already in progress such as systemic leadership issues, resolving staffing for schools and finding a solution to the much needed learning support for our tamariki.