Schools must release data

Schools have been ticked off by the Ombudsman in a stern letter, explaining to them their obligations under the Official Information Act. The NZEI should cease and desist from their illegal actions is essentially what she has told them:

Schools have been told to disregard the advice of a primary teachers’ union and instead release controversial National Standards performance information.

Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem has written to all schools after some brushed off requests for the data with a pro-forma response provided by the New Zealand Educational Institute.

Dame Beverley said the advice NZEI had offered “conflicted” with that provided by the New Zealand School Trustees Association.

“In my view boards of trustees are entitled to rely on the advice conveyed by the NZSTA. However, boards that rely on the advice conveyed by the NZEI risk an adverse finding being made against them by an Ombudsman under the [law],” she said.

Schools that had acted, or were considering acting, “in accordance with the NZEI advice” should reconsider, she said.

Those that continued to refuse or extend release of information would face an investigation, which “may find that a board has acted unreasonably or contrary to the law”.


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  • tarkwin

    If your employer gives you a direct order you obey. If you have a problem with that you’re in the wrong job.

    • le sphincter

      (1)School Trustees are not employed by the government

      (2) The Chief Ombudswoman  doesnt employ them either

      (3) if its good enough for Key to ignore  the Waitangi Tribunal its good enough  for a  ST Board to ignore this ‘advice’

      • le sphincter

        ps. These are Wakems exact words:

        “boards of trustees are entitled to rely on the advice conveyed by the NZSTA”

        Loophole meet  lorry !!

      • tarkwin

        Sounds like the moaners educated you.

      • Seems to me

        Seems to me you are a tad confused.
        Key is an elected politician in charge of the highest court in the land(Parliament) and the Tribunal gives recommendations to them.

        Schools fall under the law and MS Wakem is an officer of the law albeit the law relating to the official information act.

        So what did they teach you when you went to school?
        Might need some retraining do you think?

      • Mediaan

        Why don’t you read the legal set-up of the Waitangi Tribunal, you useless monk. Key was quoting from the law (duh!)

        The rest is referring to schools, whose staffs are employed by the government.

        The unions are desperate to maintain their vicious downgrading ploys in New Zealand schools.

  • Allyson

    This issue is not just about providing much needed information to parents. Government officials also need to know how well our primary education system is performing. It is unacceptable that the data, demonstrating our shortcomings be swept under the carpet by a bunch of self-serving Trade Unionists

    • le sphincter

      Have you tried getting in formation on how much the big buyup of Christchurch CBD land will cost ?…….. or are you a  carpet salesman ?

      • Mediaan

        Your sudden efforts to seem business-knowledgeable are a joke.

        And, as a taxpayer (unlike you) and a Christchurch ratepayer, both, I would be greatly obliged if you would desist from asking silly expensive-to-answer questions.

        The free market answer to most Christchurch complaints is, IMO,
        (a) “the taxpayer is not your Mommy, so shut up and be grateful”,
        (b) “if you don’t like it, there are plenty of other towns”.

      • Macca

        Well said Mediaan – I totally agree.  Can you imagine the state Christchurch would be in had Liebour been in power?  And they have the affront to be critical of National.  Funny how the media have all gone silent on the rebuild plans – wonder why!   Hope all is going well for you – you certainly sound like you have the right attitude for it! 

        To try and have an intelligent argument with Le Poohole is a bit like trying to push what comes out of him up hill with the proverbial!

  • Phar Lap

    Who [email protected] won you lost eat that,Mr Devil Spawn.

  • Bea

    Only one question needs asking – why do they want to keep their data secret?

    • Allyson

      Educational bodies have become over-run with socialists, unionists, and many other manner of scumbag. Their only show of keeping performance information secret is in the election of a socialist government. As this becomes even less likely, what we are witnessing is an anger and bitterness as truth and light triumph over lies

    • Teachersrock

      Simple answer, it’s not the medias information. It is the PERSONAL DATA of school children. Simple as that. 

      • Rubbish. Aggregated data would not identify students. You are just scare mongering with lies as usual.

      • Teachersrock

        No Cam, no lies at all. 

        And in smaller schools it would not be very hard to ID children. But the fact remains, outside of the school and the parents of the students, it is none of your business and nor are you entitled to that information. 

      • patriot

        Teachersrock ,
          Cumulative data that does NOT identify individual data or name individuals is what is required — you are at it again . Trying to bullshit us , but your arguement is nonsense and your logic is crap. 

         Personal Data is NOT what is required , you fool  — I hope my kids are never taught by you , if you cannot see the obvious big picture 

        As a Parent — we will get the data and have you Teachers and schools rated , sooner or later whether you like it or not .

        The lazy,disorganised Teachers will have plenty to hide — the top teachers will be applauded by Parents & get the rewards

  • Steve (North Shore)

    I will make the answer simple. Teachers want to keep programing the children to become Socialists just like themselves. That way the children will become Labour voters so Labour and the Socialists can keep troughing and spending othere peoples money

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Oh, that was replying to Bea

  • Teachersrock

    Schools need to stand strong and refuse ANY request for data from ANY media outlet. The newspapers and what not have ZERO right to any kids info beyond their own. 

    • GregM

       I agree with your comments about the media, but I believe the ministry and the government has every right to the information. Every other job in NZ has performance standards, why should teachers be exempt? For example, until a year ago I worked for the Navy. Every six months I had to pass the same fitness test as an 18 yo new recruit. It was a good way of telling staff ” just because you are senior and highly qualified, don’t think you can slack off”.
      How many 47 y.o.teachers would fail the final teachers college exam ?  Quite a few I would say.

      • Teachersrock

        My problem with THIS government getting the information is they will use in in an ideological battle with the education sector. 

        Given their comments about teachers, and what not, I do not believe for one moment that the current Government have any interest in real education. 

      • GregM

         Okay, so if Labour were the government, all information would be forthcoming, no questions asked, and if so, why the difference?

  • Dave

    The solution is simple.    STOP all payments to schools that do not publish the data, this means Teachers won’t get paid, point out to the NZEI, that schools not following the rules don’t get funding, and their stance means their members WONT get paid.   They are responsible.    LEts see how long they can last without pay.   

    If i continually ignored my employers instructions, i would be sacked – it really is that simple.

    • Teachersrock

      1: Teachers are not paid out of school funding. 

      2: The Govt has not instructed schools to release data, only provide it to them. 

      3: The data does not belong to ANYONE outside of the school and thus they have ZERO right to it. 

      • Seems to me

        Seems to me Teachersock that you are unaware of the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982. I recommend that you read same (suggest parts 1(6) & (9) then repeat your point 3 as to the reasons why?  Think you might find that “the people” have a right to it.  THis is usually exercised via the media.

      • Teachersrock

        As I said to Cam, unless you are the parents of the child in question, hands off their information. 

      • Kthxbai

         I’ve used the OIA on local schools in the past, as part of an effort to get my kids’ useless local school to teach more maths.  I asked for the info I wanted first, then used the OIA on the schools who had made the sort of noises you are making.

        Worked a treat, fancy that.

      • Sarrs

        1. Teachers are not paid out of school funding? Who, may I ask, pays them? Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t teachers paid directly from the MOE? I will refer to the well known saying – he who pays the piper calls the tune. 
        2. To follow from number one, the government requests the information because, as they own the schools and pay the teachers, the information belongs to the government. Theirs to do with as they please. So when it is invariably released to them, they can put it on the MOE website for anyone to look at. 
        3. Number two answers your point three. 

        I question whether some, if not a great majority, of teachers took one look at like in the private sector – targets to meet, performance measured etc – and ran crying to the public teat. Now that is being threatened, cue wailing and gnashing of teeth – how dare the government hold you accountable for your performance and that of your students! Pony up with some accountability – you’re getting it whether you want it or not, you may as well make yourself more amenable to it now rather than die in a ditch opposing it. How can you possibly be preparing students for the real world – where they will face performance measures and accountability on a daily basis – when you bitch, moan, cry and wail at the mere suggestion of it? You claim to be the great influence on the future of this country – pissing and moaning about being told what to do by your boss isn’t exactly inspiring.  

  • Ozymandias

    This issue is far more wide reaching than just providing data to the government. I have been a primary school teacher for 10 years, both in New Zealand and overseas. I am a fan of national standards, performance pay and see the benefit of charter schools. This puts me in the minority in the teaching ranks.

    But I am against publishing national standards results in a public forum as they stand now. The reason being that the data is subjective and so poorly implemented by the government most schools are just stabbing in the dark when it comes to assessing student work.

    How can we expect schools to measure students and then publish the results when the standards in one school, are totally different to the standards in another?