Education Reforms in Pipeline
“… a blueprint for that change which aims to give New Zealanders the best education system in the world … The starting point for this is an enduring 30-year approach to education in New Zealand,” Hon. Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education 17/9/19
The blueprint for change includes five strategic objectives – putting learners and their families at the centre of education, better access to education, quality teaching and leadership, future-focused learning priorities and forming a trusted and sustainable public education system.
The document also sets out the draft priorities for the National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) which covers early learning and schooling, and the draft priorities for the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES).
Current Leadership Challenges
“….people with great projects afoot…look further and more clearly into the future than people who are mired in day to day concerns. These former control the future because by necessity they must project themselves into it…” Robert Grudin
While there are several Covid-19 generic issues across all education sectors, which may differ in terms of scale at each level but have a common thread, there are also several topical challenges in the wake of prior announced education reforms and the latest PISA Report.
The decisions education leaders spend the most time on are rarely the most important ones. Not all decisions need the same process. In each learning community identifying at the outset which are most important stops leadership teams being bogged down and stressed out. Tools such as The Decision Matrix help prioritise what really matters by distinguishing between the important and the urgent.
- Tomorrow’s SchoolsReview-new governance arrangements and implications. Opportunities for principals to be more involved in leading professional development.
- Digital Issues such as device overuse and curriculum developments eg Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko learning, following up ELF19 Digital Divides, Dividends & Dangers .
- Mental Health and Well-Being for Staff and Students.
- Curriculum resources in development that focus on national history and identity.
- Other Curriculum resources to help years 7-10 students understand the effects of climate change on a local, national and global scale.
- Latest Pisa Datapoints to key issues in New Zealand’s education system including an alarming rise in bullying, gaps between high and low achievers, drastically deteriorating attitudes toward reading, a rise in truancy, poor learning environments and a negative attitude toward school.
- Managing the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) transition in the wake of the Review of Vocational Education and reframing vocational education and training for and in the workplace.
- Meeting the needs of both established and new industries
“…leaders need to be proactive leaders of teacher learning as the latter affects student learning.” Prof. Michael Fullan Updated foreword Best Evidence Synthesis School Leadership and Student Outcomes
The challenge for education leaders is to align the intersections between education policy, practice and evidence to develop great teaching that makes a difference for student achievement. The secret is the sequence: engaging, visioning, strategising, planning, implementing, providing feedback and course correction in respect to key current education issues and challenges.