The Independent Taskforce charged with reviewing the way our schools are governed, managed and administered wants to hear New Zealanders’ views and experiences of the schooling system.
“The next few months are about listening. We want to celebrate what is already being done well, look at what’s not, and what needs to change in order to meet the challenges we face and to achieve equity and excellence,” says Bali Haque, Chair of the Tomorrow’s Schools Review Taskforce.
Consultation is now open at conversation.education.govt.nz/tsr. Parents, whānau, teachers, students, former students, principals, school trustees, everyone is invited to have their say. The Taskforce will also draw on relevant feedback from the Education Conversation survey.
“Tomorrow’s Schools is the name given to the reforms of nearly 30 years ago. Those reforms dramatically changed the way our schools were governed, managed and administered.
“We want to hear how well our 2,530 schools are meeting the needs and aspirations of every one of the 800,334 children who walk in their gate, and how effectively schools are supported by government education agencies in this task.
“We’d like to hear how schools can work together more, and about the impact of competition between schools. We’d also like to hear whether enrolment schemes are working fairly.
“There are 19,125 hardworking board of trustees members. The establishment of boards of trustees in the 1989 reforms brought about more community involvement in our schools, but how effectively are boards of trustees working overall?
“The way we assess the performance and quality of individual schools, and the schooling system as a whole, is another key issue the Taskforce is interested in hearing views on.
“At the Education Summit in May the conversation was about the future of education and aspirations for our young people. The job for this Independent Taskforce is to ensure that the way our schools are governed, managed and administered in the future is fit for purpose and can be responsive and flexible enough to enable those aspirations to be met.
“We will be looking at how those currently least well served by our system can get a better deal; whether we are meeting the needs of all our Māori students, and if our system is working for Māori medium students; how we can ensure the system is geared up to meet the future ahead of us; and how we can ensure our schools continue to produce smart, creative, innovative, agile citizens, who can not only cope with the challenges ahead but shape those challenges, and lead the change,” says Mr Haque.
Consultation closes on 6 August. The Taskforce will also consult widely with a range of stakeholders throughout July, August and September before preparing their recommendations.
The Taskforce was appointed by the Minister of Education in April and is due to report back on the issues that support a case for change and what improvements are needed by November. This report will set the direction for further policy development and consultation in 2019.
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