Reflections from the Inquiry on Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Autism in Schools

This year I had a huge breakthrough in getting the Education and Science Select Committee to open an inquiry to investigate the identification of and support for students facing the significant challenges of dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders. We put the call out for submissions and were overwhelmed by the response. On the very […]

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Holding onto Pacific Culture and Language?

The Minister for Pacific Affairs is supporting the value of Tuvalu’s language and culture this week – but in words, not deeds. Despite Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga stating he’s “committed to creating opportunities to share and promote Pacific cultures,” the value of Pacific heritage is consistently being undermined. A single celebratory week does little to […]

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Professional development of teachers will fix poverty, huh?

The Minister of Education Hekia Parata recently acknowledged the hardship of “persistent under underachievement and poor employment outcomes”. Her solution is to roll out targeted Professional Learning and Development (PLD) for teachers in Northland and East Coast. Like Hekia, I think PLD is very important, but we don’t think that targeting the teachers in regions […]

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Academic Freedom or Free Market?

The Minister for Tertiary Education seems determined to see our universities and wananga reduced to organisations whose purpose it is to sell a commodity called education to ‘consumers’ whose primary relationship with such organisations will be a  commercial one. The National Government today stayed true to their destructive agenda for the tertiary sector,  announcing their […]

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Select Committee Inquiry into Engaging Parents in the Education of their Children

This Inquiry needs to hear from as many parents, students and teachers as possible. We need to hear about the excellent initiatives that already exist to build relationships between parents, schools and students. One such initiative is the three way conferences between teacher, parents and student held in many schools early in the term each […]

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Chance to have a say on tertiary education in NZ

The Government have opened up public submissions on their proposed changes to the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) for tertiary education. The PBRF is a funding pool of around $250 million per year from the Government that goes towards tertiary education research. It is accessed by universities, ITPs, wananga and PTEs and is incentives-based, taking into […]

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Christchurch schools – proposals or promises?

At the schools rally in Christchurch on Tuesday, Board Members and parents were talking about the promise broken by the Minister of Education. A number of schools such as Central New Brighton and Branston Intermediate had been clearly told they would have until the end of 2014 to prepare for merger or closure. The announcement […]

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Enviroschools Award for Cool Ngaruawahia Kindy

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending an Enviroschools Award ceremony at Newcastle Kindergarten in Ngaruawahia. They had won a bronze award for their sustainability efforts and focus at the centre. During the powhiri the children performed waiata with confidence and listened very politely to the speeches of the adults. We then had the chance […]

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The Parliamentary week that was, 6-8 Nov, for Pacific communities

Parliament was preoccupied by two major pieces of news last week, the unemployment figures and concerns about Housing. It also passed the Climate Change legislation (as previously discussed in this blog post series) and failed to pass Labour MP Darien Fenton’s Bill to stop libraries from charging for borrowing and internet use. Unemployment During Question […]

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