Federation Flyer 29 - 3 December 2015

I think I’ll stand to write this penultimate Flyer of the year, not just because I have a standing desk, but to salute you all for the fantastic work you do every day in your schools for the children of New Zealand.  We talk endlessly about the growing complexity of our role as principals.  Although research that NZCER undertook to measure our state of wellbeing shows that we actually take a great deal of satisfaction from being principals, the research also noted how our stress levels have climbed since the previous study.  I recall presidents of NZPF before me calling for a slow down to the changes that were coming at us thick and fast.  That hasn’t happened and this year alone we have seen no less than ten significant changes in regulations or legislation cross our desks.

One of those is a review of the Education Act.  We have responded quickly to the Public Discussion document on this review and put together a draft submission which was emailed out on November 30.  My thanks to all of you who have taken time to read the submission and send us such positive feedback. I do hope you find it useful in writing your own submissions, especially the summary at the end.  Submissions are due 14 December.  You can email your submission to education.update@education.govt.nz or mail it to Education Act Update, Ministry of Education,
PO Box 1666, Wellington 6140.

Click here for a pdf of this Flyer

Other important information in this Flyer includes:
Communities of Learning (CoLs)
Advice for principals experiencing performance issues
Bullying Prevention Week – 20 May

Communities of Learning (CoLs)
Since NZEI ran its series of PUMS to outline the ways in which the Joint Initiative differs from the Investing in Education Success policy we have encouraged you to engage and have your say. Some changes in the  Joint Initiative  include that the Communities of Schools (CoSs) are now Communities of Learning (CoLs) and the Executive principal is now a Lead principal with the possibility of more principals leading challenges within a single CoL.  These roles are paid roles.  NZPF’s major objection to the original model was the managerial top-down structure of the CoSs that created an expectation that the Executive principal, who would be paid a significant amount in addition to their current salary, would be directing all other principals in the CoS. Such a structure did not represent a successful model of collaboration in our view.

The Minister has made it clear that she sees CoLs as the best way forward to resolving achievement challenges and addressing national priorities for local communities.  For that reason a number of you have formed CoLs already, although the final details of bargaining and negotiation have not yet been completed by NZEI. Others of you are sitting back waiting to see what happens, whilst still others are strongly opposed. Each response is understandable given that until NZEI completes their negotiations, we do not know what benefits if any will accrue to a CoL nor how any benefits will be shared. That makes it difficult for us to advise you.

Global Education Leaders’ Partnership (GELP) Conference
Last week I attended the GELP conference, as one of 50 NZ delegates. The topics included innovation, creativity, learning in authentic settings and hands-on learning, soft skills such as collaboration, working in a team, citizenship, and values education. There are no surprises on this list for us.  We already know they are the most relevant skills for modern learners and this high profile conference recognised that.

Yong Zhao once again reminded us about the importance of creativity if today’s students are to achieve well and how much it is at odds with standardised systems which herald from the industrial era. This is a message we repeatedly deliver on your behalf in our work as sector representatives.  We constantly emphasise the importance of the broad based curriculum, opportunities for children to experiment, cultural intelligence, inclusiveness, inquiry and data literacy.  At the same time we point out the short-comings of having a narrow focus on national standards data for reading, writing and mathematics.    

The conference message to me was that as principals we need to give our teachers permission to be innovative and creative, ensuring key competencies are at the forefront. We need to lead the way in providing alternative ideas to management constructs such as homogeneous groupings which rarely enhance creative responses in children and lead our teachers to use a broad range of information for assessing and extending children’s learning.

The Minister says we need teachers who are passionate and I agree! I also challenge the Minister in saying that systems of standardisation, like the national standards are passion killers.

If the impact of NZPF for 2015 was to be summarised in one word it would be ‘leadership’. NZPF is involved in two significant system leadership initiatives and views these activities as ‘Leading the Leaders’.  These are the Māori Achievement Collaborations (MACs) and the Principal Leadership Advisors (PLAs). The MAC coordinator is now appointed and NZPF will be running the service contract.  We envisage that both MACs and PLAs will interact with the CoLs providing leadership support not just to the Lead principals in Cols but also to principals within and outside of CoLs.  

We have developed a ‘Career Stage Leadership Pathway’ and presented this to the Ministry. We have also put a proposal to the Minister to extend the PLA service right across the country. We are aware that leadership and leadership support has been a neglected area for some time and confusion reigns between EDUCANZ and the Ministry as to which organization is responsible for leadership.  We are working alongside both organisations to assist them to better understand our priorities as leaders.  We also have a team working on a system-wide framework for delivering PLD.

Advice for principals experiencing performance issues
The best advice NZPF can offer principals to protect their careers is to join the NZPF ‘Principal Advice and Support Limited’ (PASL) scheme which gives you free access to a helpline for advice and legal assistance should you require it.

Even if the performance matter the Board has raised seems insignificant, it is advisable to contact the PASL helpline.

If matters escalate there are legal obligations of employers.  NZSTA is aware of these obligations.

1   If an employer (Board of Trustees) has performance concerns with an employee, best practice is that these concerns are clearly articulated in writing at the earliest opportunity. Any supporting documentation pertaining to the concerns should be included with the letter.

2   The employee must be given a fair opportunity to prepare a response to the concerns, and if necessary seek representation to assist in addressing them. We advise ringing PASL

3   Depending on the nature of the concerns, a minimum of 7 days should be given to the employee to prepare a response. This can be done directly or through a representative.

4   Typically a response will be given at a meeting arranged for that purpose. Best practice is that the employer will advise who their representative is for this meeting. This gives the employee an opportunity to raise any conflict of interest concerns and determine who they should bring to the meeting. Once again check with PASL.

We are aware that boards and their representative have been known to escalate matters to suspend the principal. In small communities in particular, this creates the unintended consequence of implying guilt.  In our view the only conditions under which premature escalation may be acceptable is when there is a clear risk to students, staff or to the school.

The MOE through its  DELTA SMS team this year invited sectorial groups, SMS vendors and technical consultants to participate in the first significant, holistic and forward thinking revision of SMS since 2001. Early impressions are that  multiple SMSs storing relevant student data and information within a cloud based system that follow students through their learning pipeline is the way of the future. NZPF is represented on the Working Group that will identify issues, prioritise problems and review proposed roadmaps and solutions. As this work progresses we will keep you informed of this changing landscape and from time to time will seek your feedback. The plan for stakeholder engagement can be accessed here. Please email any additional comments to denise@nzpf.ac.nz

Bullying Prevention Week- Week of 20 May
Put this in your diary. The MoE will be launching their one stop shop for bullying prevention resources on this date. This portal will bring all resources into one place.

I also commend to you the Bullying Prevention Guidelines. The guidelines define clearly the parameters of bullying so that staff, parents and children have a common understanding.

The Bullying Prevention Advisory Group has advocated for the free use of the wellbeing@school tool offered by NZCER. I suggest you take advantage of this.

Have a great week.

Noho ora mai ra

Denise Torrey
National President

18 December        National Office closes
5 January              National Office opens
17-18 February     Executive Meeting, Wellington
2 March                Membership Awards applications close

It is now time to be thinking about who you may wish to nominate for NZPF life membership, associate membership or service with distinction awards. Nominations close on 2 March 2016. Please refer to the awards section on the NZPF website or click here for more information. Click here for a nomination form.

You and/or your team members can now easily access the NZ Principal Magazines online, as an e-magazine or as a PDF. Additionally you can search for a previous issue, article name or by the author of the article. All Magazines back to term 1 2012 are available in this format. To view or search click here www.nzprincipal.co.nz/view-the-magazine

Don Le Prou Awards for 2016
Julie H led the executive through the process of application, outlined the  criteria and decision making process and announced the list of principals who will be awarded Don Le Prou awards for 2016 as:

-     Ernie Buutveld          Havelock School
-     Darryn Ward             Patoka School
-     Tim Fletcher             Piripiri School
-     Rodney Montford      Maramarua School
-     Nick Chapman          Nuhaka School
-     Susan Dennison        Mataura School
-     Jane Corcoran           Waitotara School
-     Jason Elder                Norfolk School
-     Deidre Senior            Waitaki Valley School
-     Vivienne Goldsmith   Tauhoa School

Rural Awards for 2016
Julie H outlined the rationale for the rural awards and the selection process for successful applicants.  The following organisations are successful for 2016:

-     South Otago principals’ Association
-     Centre for Educational Development, Massey University
-     South Canterbury Principals’ Association
-     Cambridge Principals’ Association
-     North Otago Principals’ Association

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.
BE WATER-RACE SAFE - www.youtube.com
Information on the dangers of water-races on New Zealand farms and why they are important.
A message to educators and principals of rural schools
The video also features as cover story on latest Irrigation NZ magazine.
Exciting and Rewarding Fixed-term Opportunity!
Across-School Learning Team
Four schools in the Aranui cluster (Wainoni, Avondale, Aranui Primary and High Schools) are closing in December 2016 before the new Year 1-13 Haeata School opens in 2017.

We are looking for experienced teachers with talent, drive and excitement for learning, who are seeking a challenging but rewarding short term change in their teaching life for the 2016 school year. 

You will be part of an Across-School Learning Team of three, to create exciting learning opportunities for cross-school interaction between the closing schools. 

You will be encouraged and supported to be creative and to support creativity within and across the schools.

You must be able to work flexibly and collaboratively, thinking innovatively and outside boxes and walls.

This is a one year, fixed term contract with RRR allowance equivalent to 2 MU.

Secondment will be possible, by negotiation with your employing board.

For further details, a job description, or to apply, contact Audrie McKenzie, Principal Wainoni School at mckenziea@wainoni.org.nz  or 021 055 0183

Please remind your Office Manager that the NZPF fax line has been discontinued.  If you are ordering any NZPF forms or applying for NZPF grants or awards in the future please email the national office.

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.  

MUSAC is proud to introduce you to New Zealand’s only cloud-based portal which links student achievement and reading habits. In 2016 the MUSAC Library Manager (MLM) solution will be available to schools as a SaaS, or software-as-a-service, application. The user-friendly MLM provides an effective resource management gateway for teachers, students and their caregivers to integrate assessment results with reading habits and bridge gaps between home and school.            Read more...
For additional information, visit the website at http://www.musac.io/, contact MUSAC at (+64) 0800 600 159 or
email the MUSAC staff at sales@musac.io

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