Federation Flyer 27 - 29 October 2015

Last week I had the pleasure of addressing the Marlborough principals at their regional conference.  It reminded me just how important these events are not only for the professional development component but equally for the opportunity to network with colleagues.  As the complexity of our role as principals increases so also does the value and importance of collegiality. 

The problems and concerns we encounter through the NZPF helpline are a constant reminder that principals need to feel comfortable reaching out and sharing issues with each other.  There is no shame in seeking advice from colleagues.  Experienced principals especially might lead the way by actively encouraging more collegiality in their regions.  Some associations have quite deliberately set up systems for making sure no principal in their region is isolated or disconnected or unable to seek help when they need it.  I commend those associations and encourage more to do the same.  If we normalise practices that keep us connected we might create a culture of mutual support so that all principals can feel safe and confident about seeking support from each other rather than sitting on problems until it is too late. 

Click here for a pdf of this Flyer

NZPF aspires to see a turn around in Statutory Interventions so that they only occur when you seek them!  Unfortunately we are a long way from achieving that aspiration.  Meanwhile you need protection.  If you subscribe to the NZPF principals’ legal support scheme, you can access the scheme’s helpline which provides excellent employment advice should you come into conflict with your Board.  Just as you protect your life, house and car we suggest you join this scheme to protect your career.

Maintaining a healthy working relationship with your Board is hugely important.  If you are required to attend a meeting about your employment, you would be very unwise not to first seek legal advice.  This does not necessarily mean attending the meeting with your lawyer, which would undoubtedly escalate the situation.  In many situations the Board is seeking a simple discussion on an employment matter and intends to de-escalate a situation.  Arriving with a lawyer to such a discussion, would of course have the opposite effect.  Only your lawyer can advise you which way to go and if you are a member of our legal scheme, the helpline would give you very good advice.

Both NZSPANZ and NZPF have noted an increase in the number of principal vacancies and a decrease in the number of applicants for principal positions.  In addition, a trend is developing whereby principals are leaving mid-career to take up jobs outside of the profession.

These are concerning trends and possibly reflect the growing complexity and responsibilities of the role.  That said, in a satisfaction survey earlier this year, you reported that whilst you find the role challenging you also love it. 

The Teaching and Learning International Survey administered by the OECD or TALIS report notes that principals find increased satisfaction in their role when leadership is distributed.  Perhaps it is time to look more closely at this model of leadership which might help turn these worrying trends around.  

Health and Safety
NZPF and other sector heads have been working alongside the MoE to put together an appropriate information package for schools on Health & Safety requirements.  Shortly, you and your Board will receive a letter which will provide clarity of the requirements.  NZSTA is currently holding workshops for Boards and principals and will continue to do so in term 1 next year.  NZEI and PPTA are also working together on developing a training package for workers. 

We are aware that there are some groups/companies offering ‘products’ to help schools implement the new Work & Safety requirements.  Be aware that there are free resources already available to do this through the Ministry’s website.  We suggest you use these resources when reviewing your current processes.

Trans-Tasman Conference
See the notice below on the 2016 Trans-Tasman conference.  It is not too early for Early Bird Registration, especially if you want to take advantage of splitting the costs of registration across two years. 

You can make a start on your End of Year screen, before your staffing is finalised, and save the screen.  I know many of you do this already and it does make the job so much more manageable! 

Have a great week.

Noho ora mai ra

Denise Torrey
National President

16-17 October      Executive Meeting, Wellington
1 November         Rural Conference/Seminar applications close
20-21 November  Executive Meeting, Wellington

NZPF annually awards rural grants of $1000 to rural principals’ groups, to assist them to hold their own conference or seminars. Applications close on 1 November.  For further information and an application form click here. Applications need to be made now to fund your conference in 2016.

In honour of the late Don Le Prou, a founder of NZPF and former principal of Frankton School in Hamilton, the Don Le Prou study grants assist NZPF members from U1-3 schools every year to undertake professional development.  Each grant is worth $1000 towards your PD.

Click here for an application form – closing date 19 November
Many of you have commented on the outstanding programme the Wellington NZPF conference provided, especially the theming of topics into different education lenses. Its time now to start thinking about the next NZPF conference which will be hosted jointly by our Australian colleagues (APPA) and NZPF. It too promises to present an outstanding and relevant programme.
The theme of ‘Knowledge in Our Hands’ will bring together practitioner and expert stories from around New Zealand, Australia and the world.  This special event, held every four years, is an opportunity to showcase New Zealand education in 2016 and will follow theme strands aligned with the values of the NZ Curriculum.  Early Bird Registrations are open now.  For full details of the conference programme, speakers and registration, go to www.transtasmanconference.co.nz

The NZPF supports Netsafe, an independent non-profit organisation, which supports safe and responsible use of digital technology in schools. It offers excellent advice on cyber bullying prevention, privacy and copyright issues.  You can visit the Netsafe website  for more information.

Netsafe is promoting safer internet use by hosting a ‘Safer Internet Day’ on 9 February 2016. We urge you to diary this date and participate in the promoting of safer internet use in your school.

The NZPTA would like to thank the many principals who responded to our recent survey on the position of PTAs in their schools. 

We are aware of the very full programme you all have and so are grateful for the time that you spent answering our questions so that we are better able to help you.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like further information on how we can support your parents or if there is any point that you wish to discuss.

Our conference is to be held in Auckland in May 13 – 15 next year and we hope you will encourage your parents to attend to obtain  ideas, knowledge, be enthused and network.  In this way, they are spending the money on the children.

Diane O’Sullivan, President, NZPTA

To mark the retirement of school principals, NZPF has developed a special Service Award.  If your local principals’ association is aware of any retiring principals in your region then have your President email with the principal’s name(s).  We will prepare a Service Award which will be emailed to your President for framing and presenting at your local principals’ association function. 

I draw your attention to the excellent resources available on the PB4L website. Whether you subscribe to the PB4L programme or not, you are likely to find these resources helpful in managing behaviour in your school. 

One of the undertakings the NZPF gives its business partners is that at the very least, they are given the opportunity by members to quote for a product, service or solution. PLEASE support our business partners as their assistance is very important to NZPF and to you as members.   
Interested in becoming an NZPF Business Partner? We welcome enquiries from businesses that are interested in engaging with schools. If you would like to know how a partnership with NZPF can add value to your business, while supporting New Zealand education, please email Gavin Beere (NZPF’s Business Partner Convenor), for an information package and further details about NZPF



Gold Business Partners