School principals are questioning how the Prime Minister can expect parents to get honest, clear and comprehensive information about a school’s performance when it is based on league tables representing unreliable national standards data in two subjects. 

‘Principals are opposed to giving parents untruthful information about their children or about their school and any information built from national standards data is misleading,’ says Paul Drummond, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation.

Parents, leaders and professionals responsible for the education and care of New Zealand’s most vulnerable students are united in their call to continue provision of residential care for those students,’ says Paul Drummond, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation.

The Government has announced its intention to close down four special residential schools where children with the very highest learning needs are currently residing. The intention is to mainstream the children and provide a ‘wrap-around’ service instead.

New Zealand’s public and education professionals have sent a powerful message to Government by rejecting its policy to increase class sizes. ‘Parents are saying ‘hands off’ our education system,’ says Paul Drummond, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation.

‘Parents know that our education system is right up there with the best in the world and they want their children to continue benefiting from the excellent teaching going on in our schools which consistently delivers high achievement results for the vast majority of Kiwi kids,’ says Drummond.

The President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, Paul Drummond welcomes the decision to re-examine the proposed staff:student ratios for Intermediate Schools but warns that the working party needs to extend its brief.

‘The Treasury got this whole policy wrong,’ said Drummond, ‘They misread the research, failed to check with the professionals and completely ignored the parents,’ he said.

‘The plan for education outlined in today’s Budget comes directly from Treasury advice,’ said Paul Drummond, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, ‘and will not  improve the educational experience for Kiwi kids in school,’ he said. 

‘The suggestion that performance pay would prompt higher quality teaching in primary schools misses the point,’ said Paul Drummond, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation.

‘We would agree with the Minister of Education that a high quality teaching force makes a difference to children’s achievement. We have it already! The Minister needs only look at our world class rankings in achievement to see that our children continually rank amongst the highest achievers in the world,’ he said.

‘The most common question parents ask when their child starts school is ‘how big is my child’s class?’ said Paul Drummond, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF). 

'Instinctively, parents understand that the smaller the class, the more teaching attention their child will get and they are right,’ he said.

The Minister of Education’s announcement today that a post-graduate qualification for trainee teachers will increase teacher quality has been received with scepticism by the President of the New Zealand principals’ Federation, Paul Drummond.

‘A subject specific degree, followed by a shorter teacher training period may well be a suitable qualification for teaching in the secondary sector,’ said Drummond, ‘but in the primary sector, teachers are required to teach all subjects right across the curriculum, not just a single subject,’ he said.

Principals are saddened but not surprised to see that Science is not thriving in schools. They warned two years ago that this was just one inevitable outcome of the national standards policy.

 ‘The Principals’ Federation predicted that focusing on the three areas of reading writing and maths, as the national standards policy does, would be detrimental to the wider curriculum,’ said Vice President of the NZ Principals’ Federation, Philip Harding today. ‘You get what you measure and this Government wants to measure just three things,’ he said. 

“The decision to sack the Board of Trustees at Moerewa School is a sad day for self-managing schools and their communities,” said Phil Harding, Vice-President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation.

“Moerewa is a tiny community, working with its people to do all in its power to provide high standards of education, while achieving success as Maori,” said Harding. “Rather than being celebrated for its efforts and excellent ERO reports, the Moerewa School Board has been punished, and its senior students excluded from their school of choice,” he said.

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