Principals message to alumni, April 2019
Dear past students and friends of the school
I am so proud of all the achievements our students continue to have in such a wide field of pursuits. I encourage you to browse through this newsletter which outlines many of our recent successes.
At the start of next term we launch straight into our major musical production of ‘Oliver!’ at the Theatre Royal. There are five performances over four days and I would encourage you to purchase tickets early to avoid disappointment. One feature of the show is the involvement of Broadgreen Intermediate students who are doing an amazing job as our ‘orphans’.
It was my privilege earlier in the year to attend our annual Excellence/Merit Endorsement Awards, celebrating the success of our year 12 and 13 students who gained endorsements in the 2018 NCEA qualifications. Over the past few years this endorsement awards evening has become a very important and enjoyable event on our yearly calendar. At the end of each year we celebrate the success of our highest achievers at our formal prizegivings. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to walk across the stage, even though many students achieve to very high levels and are rewarded with endorsements on their qualifications. So, the EME awards are about celebrating the almost 150 certificate endorsements that were awarded to Nayland College students last year, a significant achievement and certainly one that we are very proud of and wanting to acknowledge and celebrate. Our EME recipients are listed in this newsletter.
Tomorrow’s Schools Review
As many of you will be aware the Tomorrows Schools report was released at the end of 2018. You can read the review online here.
I have spent some considerable time reading the report, which if implemented, would see the biggest shake up in New Zealand state education since 1989.
The primary purpose of the Review was to consider the ability of the current governance, management and administration of the compulsory schooling system to respond to education needs in the future, and to achieve equity and excellence for all children and young people.
I believe some of the changes recommended could go some way towards addressing equity concerns. However, although I do not buy into the scaremongering by some principals over the proposed changes, there are some parts of the review that I have deep concerns about. In particular:
- The introduction of education ‘hubs’ threaten the independent integrity of the system and risk schools losing their localised ‘flavour’, although there may well be benefits for smaller rural schools.
- Education hubs will introduce more bureaucracy into an already bloated system and take away the ability of schools to control their own high-level discipline procedures (suspensions and exclusions).
- The education system as a whole is working incredibly well. Why not focus extra energy and resources on assisting schools and principals that require extra support, rather than restructuring an entire system?
- The recommendation in the report is that principals will be employed on 5-year contracts to a school through the hub. For obvious reasons I strongly oppose this suggestion.
- The school board would lose all governance responsibilities and look much more like the ‘school committees’ that were in existence pre-1989. I have concerns that many parents will not consider this as an integral function to the running of the school.
Ngā mihi nui