This morning as I was struggling on my get-fit regime, I was so heartened to hear the news that NZEI (a teacher union in NZ) was working with their members on the proposals announced by the Government on school leadership. They were not just rolling over with hands outstretched for the money.
I have some real doubts on the model proposed. Because there seems to be an implicit decision to have an executive principal working with up to ten other schools. That was me doing the sums in the original announcement.
So who are these executive principals?
Are the other schools to be worked with to have any choice in the matter? If I had been asked to work with a Principal whose education values I strongly opposed, I might well have resigned.
In the group do we all have the same issues?
I tried to do something similar in Northampton three years ago. It only took off when the heads chose who would be members of the group. When I, as a Council adviser, tried to put the schools together, two school heads walked and went to other schools. But the school initiated grouping has taken off. And they have managed to stay away from being academised or taken over. I understand that similar things are happening in Birmingham.
Teachers know who they can work with. They want to see constant improvement. They want to work together…but like all other places of work they do not want to be forced to collaborate: it is an oxymoron!
Note to readers: I am planning to do more responses that are shorter as well as my more detailed essays. In planning is a response to the paper by John Morris and Rose Patterson.
My nervousness about the direction of New Zealand education is increasing. The Morris/Patterson report introduces performance pay.
Then there is a report that ERO are using a school’s national standards score as an indicator of success.
And yesterday the news that charter schools are exempt from the obligation to have trained teachers.
All these strands build into a floodtide pushing NZ down the way of worst examples from USA and UK.
New Zealand does not need this. Yes improvement is a must on the agenda of every teacher and school.
And dear readers, any hints as to layout or topics would be greatly appreciated. I seek improvement in using this new tool.