The New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) strongly supports the notion of bolstering collaborative practice within and between New Zealand’s schools and investing in lifting children’s achievement. It also insists that the Investing in Educational Success policy is the wrong model to achieve these excellent objectives.
“For the policy to succeed, the support of principals is critical,” president of the NZPF Philip Harding says.
“We have surveyed school principals and it is clear that they do not have confidence that the IES, as a model, can achieve a strong collaborative culture for schools, nor lift the achievement of especially our priority learners.”
The survey showed overwhelming opposition and concern from a sample of over 1000 principals. They said the model was too complex and inflexible in its present form to deliver on its goals, and principals would rather see this money moved closer to classrooms and children, than have it spent on topping up salaries for a few.
“The policy represents a huge investment in a critical area. It is vital that Government doesn’t steamroll another flawed model over the top of a profession holding significant and legitimate concerns.
“Under this model, $90m per year, which represents 90 per cent of this resource, will go to just six per cent of teachers and principals. One third of that money will disappear through taxation. This money would be so much better targeted to enabling collaborative processes releasing and involving all principals, and supporting priority learners,” Mr Harding says.
“Our opposition is not due to the policy’s intent which we support. Principals are quite clear that it is the proposed design that is the problem and it will not land well in the diverse contexts in which schools sit.”