Education Minister Hekia Parata has welcomed advice from sector leaders on the Government’s $359 million initiative to raise student achievement, saying it maintains momentum and strengthens the path forward.
Ms Parata has released a Working Group report that provides support and advice on the Investing in Educational Success initiative announced by the Prime Minister in January.
“Raising student achievement is one of our Government’s top priorities. This investment strongly supports that by building quality and consistency of teaching and leadership across the system,” Ms Parata says.
“Like us, parents will be very pleased we’re making such good progress on something that will make a real difference in our schools and classrooms.
“Unions and groups representing teachers, principals, boards of trustees, and others in the sector have worked closely with the Ministry of Education to produce a report that demonstrates very practical thinking.
“I want to acknowledge the expertise and experience Working Group members brought to the table to advance this work. I know they’re as committed as we are to raising achievement so five out of five kids succeed.”
Ms Parata says the Working Group was set up to work on the design of the initiative to help ensure it can be successfully implemented from next year.
“Many in the sector have been keenly awaiting the detail of the work, and the publication of the report and independent working papers will provide full transparency and insight to the Working Group’s considerations.
“The profession will be interested to see that the implementation of the initiative will build on communities of schools already collaborating around the education pathways in their neighbourhoods, as well as new communities. The new teaching and leadership resources will only be available to those who choose to work in this systematic collaborative way.
“The advice of the Working Group is another step on the process of consultation and design that provides a strong foundation on which to continue work on the design and implementation of Investing in Educational Success.”
Ms Parata says members supported the main features and also identified areas where more work is needed.
- the professional standards base of the new roles
- the selection and appointment process to the roles
- the use of evidence to map progress towards the achievement challenges at the heart of this initiative
- how to set up and run collaborative communities of schools
“The Working Group welcomed the availability of both relief and inquiry time to support the growth of excellence across the profession, and it considered that the significant level of the allowances created an excellent incentive, demonstrating a serious commitment to better career pathways for teachers and principals.
“The Government has carefully considered the advice in the report and I have tasked the Ministry of Education with continuing to work with the sector to finalise the details. Working Group members have been invited to join an Advisory Group so they can remain closely involved in this work.”
Ms Parata says the Secretary for Education will also be initiating discussions with unions over how Investing in Educational Success will affect teachers’ and principals’ terms and conditions.
“It’s great we’re all travelling forward with this work, and I have asked the Secretary for Education to progress it with the new Advisory Group, through bargaining, or as priority work streams within the Ministry.
“I want to thank the Working Group for its constructive collaboration over the opportunity to design a big initiative with such far reaching potential.
“Having broad support as we look to raise student achievement is great for kids, parents, schools and our country as a whole.
“This investment is part of a comprehensive range of practical measures we’re delivering through Budget 2014 to help families and children and I look forward to seeing the first communities of schools from the first term of 2015,” Ms Parata says.
The Working Group report can be found at: http://www.minedu.govt.nz/theMinistry/EducationInitiatives/InvestingInEducationalSuccess.as