Log in

New initiative announced to help raise student achievement

What an exciting way to start the new school year!

John Key's speech to the nation introduces new education roles to raise student achievement – Executive Principals, Expert Teachers, Lead Teachers and Change Principals.

John Keys Speech to the nation


What do you think? Aspirations? Considerations? Can you see yourself as part of this initiative?


  • Barb Curran (View all users posts) 24 Jan 2014 11:34am ()

    The devil will in fact be in the details. What will be the criteria to be selected? I suspect that it will be school or class performance on National Standards that will be used to determine who is an expert teacher or principal. For many years NZEI Te Riu Roa has wanted a way to recognise good teachers who wish to stay in the classroom as opposed to becoming a Team leader, AP or DP. After a protracted battle involving stop work meetings and national marches, we were finally offered 800 Advanced Skills teacher positions for attracting a $5000 stipend. These are based on skills and attributes, through an application process. All of a sudden there is more money for many more teachers to be chosen by an unknown process. I am therefore very dubious about this. Teachers and principals are successful within a certain context (urban/rural, school size, ethnicity, socio-economic status etc.) and I'm not sure that it will be easy for those skills to transfer to "save" a school that is different to where they have had success. It also could threaten collaboration (I'm not going to help, so and so is paid to be a role model) and the autonomy of schools.My advice is be wary until more information about the process is revealed.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 24 Jan 2014 1:09pm ()

    Hi Barb, thank you for these views. Smile 

    There's a little more information in there I wasn't aware of, so thank you. I can definitely see the need for further clarification as this initiative gets ready for roll out in 2015. I also think there are more considerations that affect the way we see change in education as well - such as successful models for PLD.   

    I'm envisioning many innovative educators (who already engage in this professional online community), could extend their expertise wider in this opportunity.  

    Interested anyone?

  • Andrew de Wit (View all users posts) 24 Jan 2014 9:32pm ()

    So, who decides whats expert? Also what works in one school context often doesn't in another. Where will these experts find the extra time? Are we again taking good people out of chalk face teaching?

    What I have really liked recently has been the use of things like the VLN, Twitter, blogging to open up communication and sharing across NZ and the word with no financial imperative.

    In the same news cycle we are told that Education is not "free" and that parents are paying increasing amounts - surely a result of not enough funding.

    I would like see more money for ops funding, special needs, supporting students who need help with basics (food, clothing, books) and PD overall as a better option than creating some new process with associated administration costs.  

    Hopefully I'll be proved wrong. 

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 25 Jan 2014 2:59pm ()


    Not sure about the finer details yet, I think I’m more excited by the prospects of recognising and rewarding the good, GREAT work teachers and principals do.

    Online professional and personal learning networks like the VLN/Enabling e-Learning community groups have seen teachers participate and respond to each other’s needs and be recognised for it. School contexts may differ, but having an online professional learning community like this one, enables teachers to share their ideas, experiences and expertise.

    I look forward to seeing more of this kind of rich sharing, mentorship and cross-pollination of ideas continue in the coming years. Smile

  • Tamara Bell  (View all users posts) 25 Jan 2014 9:30pm ()

    Kia ora, 

    Thanks for opening this discussion up for us to contribute to Tessa, I love hearing other views and thoughts in the online forums and with many possible changes going to arise from this development, it is nice to share and reflect on what could be.  

    I acknowledge there is still a lot to learn about how these changes will work, but as an educator who is passionate about providing the very best education system we can for our tamariki, I want to highlight what I believe are the real positives.  I believe that adding additional steps into a teachers possible career path is a great thing.  I know from personal experience that many teachers have struggled with the idea of moving up in their career, particularly if you have reached the top of your pay scale but you don't have any real ambition to become a principal.  This will surely help to encourage more to stay in the profession, rather than perhaps leave for a "better paying job with less responsibility" (direct quote from more than 1 teacher I know!)  

    I also believe that sharing good practice is crucial to teacher development and keeping amazing teachers in teaching positions will also make a huge difference to the kids in our classrooms, so I can absolutely see the amazing influence the new roles of Executive Principal, Expert Teacher and Lead Teacher could have. 

    All in all, I feel there are lots of key factors in this proposal that could bring exciting, innovative and dramatic positive change to our education system-can't wait to see how it all plays out! Laughing

  • Jill Hammonds (View all users posts) 26 Jan 2014 5:48pm ()

    For those who have expressed concerns, its also important to remember that the Ministry plan to take a year getting the finer detail sorted.  They have created opportunities for people in key roles to support and contribute to the process - School Trustees Association, union representatives and principals federations etc.  It will be up to everyone to contribute positive ideas to our representatives as the proposal takes further shape as we all continue to work to increase student achievement and create a better future for our tamariki.

  • Barb Curran (View all users posts) 26 Jan 2014 8:24pm ()

    With all due respect Jill, ask Phillipstown, Salisbury, Branston Intermediate... about MOE consultation. There is an agenda here around education that is more about neoliberal values of competition and privitasation than it is about improving education. I don't need to be paid extra to share good practice, and neither do my colleagues. If they truly wanted to make it easier for good teachers to stay in the classroom, why limit the Advanced Skills teachers in the Primary Teachers Collective Agreement to 800, and then find money for this? This is more about embedding National Standards and disrupting teachers relationships with their units. I hope I'm wrong, but the history of this government with education makes me dubious. Absolutely people should contact those on the working party to express their ideas, and I fully intend to do so. In the meantime I hope people look at the pros and the cons of this proposal.

Join this group to contribute to discussions.