Ehara taku toa, I te toa takitahi engari he toa takatini My strength comes not from myself alone but from the strength of the group
E te whānau, ngā tumuaki o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou katoa
Last night was the culmination of one of the most exciting general election campaigns we have experienced in many years. The voting choices and later coalition decisions boiled down to essentially two options. These were either to retain the status quo or opt for generational change.
For education, I believe that whatever the final choice had been, we needed change and I had asked our former Minister of Education, Hon Nikki Kaye, to address the Government's agenda for education. The Global Reforms we have endured for the past decade had proven to be destructive and unhelpful in improving learning for our young people. I had asked her to stop them. We wanted our quality public education system to be once again positioned at the forefront. Our ability as principals to lead pedagogical programmes in our schools that enhance risk taking, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving through providing a broad and rich curriculum, had to be restored.
More than that, relationships with the ministries and organisations set up to support us in our work also needed to be restored so that we could again enjoy a high trust environment free of high stakes accountability measures and the data obsessions that have plagued us for so long. Instead of measures and standards sitting at the centre of everything, we would place our young people at the centre where they deserve to be.
That the final election result is a Labour led Government in coalition with NZ First and the Greens means that the education policies that will help us achieve these goals are already in place.
I can assure you that as soon as the Prime Minister has announced her Cabinet, we will be meeting with the new Minister of Education to talk about time-frames and plans to dismantle some of the heavy compliance requirements and those aspects of privatisation such as charter schools that have sucked resources and energy from our system.
All of the parties in the new coalition government have promised to either close charter schools immediately or at least phase them out. They have also campaigned on ridding us of national standards and their accountability function as measures of school performance.
Perhaps most encouraging of all is that the parties of the new coalition have all said that they welcome the profession's input and advice . We will advocate for policies that work for you, as leaders of your schools and also for your young people. We will also support the politicians in their policy development as the new Government takes New Zealand's education system forward. Together we will build a strong, resilient and high functioning system, within which all of our young people will have fun and a fair chance of success.