A long column today about a document that has huge ramifications for the future of schooling in New Zealand
Back in 1989, our current schooling system, called Tomorrow’s Schools, was introduced. Boards of Trustees were established and Education Boards (a centralised agency) were abolished and the Ministry of Education was established.
A taskforce has been reviewing our current system and has been considering alternatives. The group has produced a report ‘Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together’. They established eight key issues of our current model and have come up with a number of recommendations for each of these issues. My understanding is that these are only recommendations and at the end of the consultation process, it is likely that some of these recommendations won’t be enacted and others may change.
Given the outcomes from this review will have a very significant impact on schools it is vital that parents have a say. You can attend a public meeting, email your submission and complete the survey.
Here is a link to the recommendations for each of the eight key aspects Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together Summary of Recommendations
I have also analysed each of the eight key aspects and commented as to how the recommendations could affect VAS. It is not all bad, there are potential positive outcomes in a number of the key issues. The relevant key aspects which affect VAS are under Competition and Choice, with some of the recommendations under Governance, also affecting VAS.
||How This May Affect VAS
|Competition and Choice
||· Education has a planned network for state and state integrated schools.
· All schools would be allocated a notional catchment area and maximum roll number. These would be adjusted regularly to account for changing demographics.
· Following the review of current enrolment schemes the number of out of zone enrolments would be capped. Out of zone students would be included in the staffing and operational funding formulae at a lower rate than in-zone students.
· There would be an upper limit on the donations state schools can ask of parents.
· Schools with international students would have to demonstrate to the Education Hub that they can cater for these students staffing, operational and building needs independently of government funding.
· The board would have no control over the school zone or the numbers of students. Education Hub would set the zone and maximum numbers.
· The Education Hub could change the school zone and maximum numbers – following consultation but ultimately with the final decision. What is the possible impact on families who were in zone with their eldest child but now out of zone with their youngest child?
· Resourcing and property funding would be driven by these maximum roll numbers.
· Out of zone students attract less staffing and operational funding. Would schools be immediately affected or would this apply to out of zone students enrolled as from the formation of the Education Hub?
· Upper limit on donations. This would impact significantly on the board’s ability to fund specialist teachers or additional teachers to support larger cohorts.
|How This May Affect VAS
||That local Education Hubs are established.
· To reorient the roles of boards and school principals so they are able to focus on their core responsibilities.
· To ensure schools are supported by, and contribute to, their local network, through the formation of local Education Hubs that assume local governance responsibilities.
· To ensure that the Education Hubs supporting schools have the knowledge, flexibility and resources to be able to respond to the needs of individuals schools.
· To ensure that the key decisions in the system are made at the appropriate level.
|CORE ROLES OF A BOARD
· School strategic and annual plan; student success and wellbeing; localised curriculum and assessment
· Staffing and operational funding systems will continue without change.
· Education Hubs would take over 5YA and major property developments. Schools may request a delegation to control responsibility for some or all of these funds.
· The Education Hub would review existing enrolment schemes for fairness. It would establish new enrolment zones if necessary and adjust enrolment zones as required in consultation with schools and communities. The Education Hubs would make the final decisions.
· Education Hub would take over responsibility for appointing a school principal. After consultation with board and community the Education Hub would advertise the position. An appointment panel with up to 50% representation for the school’s board would carry out shortlisting, interviewing and reference checks. A Leadership Advisor employed by the Education Hub would oversee the employment process. The board would approve the appointment.
· Principals would be appointed to a particular school on a 5 year contract. The leadership advisor would be responsible for ensuring timely and appropriate action is taken if there are issues with a principal’s performance. The understanding is that principal’s contracts could roll over.
· Employed by the Education Hub but principal would appoint and manage their staff.
· Teachers could be seconded to other schools so their expertise can be shared. Would teachers have any choice as to whether they were seconded to another school? Would the board be able to veto a secondment?
· Education Hub rather than school boards would be responsible for all processes after a suspension has been initiated by a school principal.
Here is a link to a useful document giving answers to FAQs Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together FAQs
To make a submission, email [email protected] by 7 April.
Here is the link to the survey which is available in English, Maori, Chinese and Samoan.
Our Schooling Futures – Survey – Closes 31 March 2019
Please take the time to be involved in the consultation around Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together.
Teachers are attending NZEI union meetings on Tuesday 19 March BUT the good news is that we will have enough cover at school at all times so that parents won’t have to keep their children home.