Principal politicises school notices


Malcolm Dixon

via the tipline

Have a gander at this school newsletter from Malcolm Dixon at Frimley Primary School in Hastings where he gives three reasons why he hates “Charters Schools” and his opposition to National Standards.

One of his claims is there are “far too many variables and inaccuracies”…like spelling en masse as “on mass”.

Apparently the only people who can have ideas are those approved by him and his own political viewpoint on life.

We should definitely look to the Australian lead of stopping the use of children and political weapons by principals such as Malcolm Dixon. 

He claims at the very start of the letter that he is wanting keep everyone fully informed, then proceeds to deliver a very lop-sided and generally wrong explanation of why he thinks National Standards and Charter Schools are wrong.

No wonder the kids are doing so poorly at school when a principal doesn’t even know how to spell en masse.

Frimly school news letter


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  • Agent BallSack

    Mudguard….Shiny on top, shit underneath.

  • Fa Kez

    maybe a lesson in how to format a school newsletter is needed…just saying

  • Tony Norriss

    From the news letter:

    “Our figures are only as accurate as the honesty and integrity of our teachers..”

    If that is true, National Standards are fucked then.

    • Dave

      And that line confirms everything we need to know and CHANGE about our education system. Lets see, Teachers registration is via…… the NZEI, who have a VESTED interest in not reporting every gain under a NATIONAL government, or with Charter Schools!!!

      Like Teachers reporting PERFORMANCE, gains in students, benchmarking and acceleration programs.

      Not the drivel they currently report. Please Hekia, please simply Convert all NZ schools to Charter Schools Tomorrow, and sort out all reporting!!

      PS: This chap needs to retire, yesterday, with an attitude like that he is a threat to every child in his school.

  • jcpry

    At least he was upfront about the decile ratings and what it means in additional funding for low decile schools. So the excuse for failing those at the lower end is not funding. I wonder what could be the cause?

    • AnonWgtn

      Bad Teachers, including Principal, perhaps !

      • jcpry

        I was thinking more of bad parenting. Having been on a BOT and seen the carnage that bad parenting causes I put the blame quite firmly in this court. Incidentally we had no members of staff who belonged to the NZEI. Ahh for the days of bulk funding and the ability to really make a difference.

      • Teachersrock

        Typical teacher hater response.

  • Phil T Tipp

    Bwaaaahahahaaa! Wanker.

  • johnbronkhorst

    Mr Dixon..please remember…you are an EMPLOYEE. If you want to make the decisions, get elected become the minister of education. Then you can take RESPONSIBILITY for the education of the children (not the protection of the union)!
    Say what you like about Hekia Parata and her less than steller political nous, she is at least thinking in terms of the children and a plan that extends into the next 10 or more years. Unlike you who are just concerned with the next pay packet and how to do as little as possible to get paid!!!

  • Never in the dark…..

    So they’re Decile 3? With his ongoing leadership they should achieve a 2 soon.

    Onward and upwards ;(

    • jcpry

      He wont want that. The principal pay packet is linked to the size of the school. if he drops down from over 500 pupils to under he’ll lose $4k so he’ll not want to drop numbers which will happen when the flight from a decile 2 school inevitably happens.

    • Teachersrock

      You understand decile ratings have nothing to do with comments made, or pupil numbers….. Right?

  • tarkwin

    If he worked for me he’d be clearing his desk.

    • Muffin

      second that, should be clearing it right now!

    • johnbronkhorst

      NO….He would be tripping over his stuff, on his doorstep, as he left for his now non existent job!

  • In Vino Veritas

    “The figures are only as accurate as the honesty and integrity of our teachers”. So what in fact, is this chap trying to say about his teachers?
    And I can tell you all, from experience (since I was a school Board member when NS were introduced) that guidance was not minimal. This is a straight lie from Mr Dixon. The MOE provided extensive documentation on what was expected when teachers made their judgements. At the school I was involved with, the Board and teachers all understood that the judgements would need some fine tuning and that results would “normalise” over a period.
    The only reason people like Mr Dixon oppose NS, is that their jobs at risk since the data collected weeds the good from the bad, and believe me, the bad stand out like a sore thumb!

  • johnbronkhorst

    so…..National Standards are OK… long as they are not produce “on mass”, so parents are able to compare schools….begs a couple of questions

    1. You want to be able to hide results, from parents, that may reflect badly on teachers?

    2. How a National Standards of any use to the parents and pupils, if they are not complete?

  • johnbronkhorst

    Opposition to charter schools………”They can set their own hours and terms”…. How is that ANY of your concern?
    If it gets better results for the kids, teachers and their union will be shown up as self serving liars, over the past 20 years as they have been advocating shorter terms and shorter hours and less contact hours as the route to better education outcomes.

    • Patrick

      Teachers set their own hours now, how many teacher only days have sneaked into a school year now?

      • GazzW

        Patrick, you have been posting here long enough to know that I am no liberal pinko. If there’s one issue here that really pisses me off it’s the continual sniping at teachers. Have a go at their unions by all means, I’m right behind you on that score. Have a go at teachers who kowtow to the unions and I’m right behind you.

        I have two family members who are teachers and both just like their young colleagues are not union members. Incidentally the majority of young teachers are not pro-union, support the principles of NS and very keen on exploring the opportunities presented by charter schools. Our two family members work long hours and spend at least half of their holidays on teaching work. Both have good degrees from good unis plus post-grad teaching diplomas – they earn just a tad under $60k. Based on my maths they earn about $24 an hour. Why do they do it given that their degrees do not restrict them to teaching? Because they fucken love their job and imparting knowledge to their kids, that’s why.

        Set their own hours? What a fucking ignorant joke that statement is.
        Just the sort of rhetoric that is not only deterring bright young grads from joining the profession but also driving young teachers out or head offshore.

        • Patrick

          GazzW, I acknowledge your comments but when are the non unionised teachers going to take control of their profession instead of being led by the nose by their unionised colleagues?
          As far as teacher only days go – how come these always fall either side of a long weekend? Smacks of self interest & why are they required at all? Never used to be did they? How the hell do working parents cater for these?
          As for being tertiary educated, putting up with little scroats all for $60k per year – bollocks to that I say, whether it comes with holidays or not as holidays don’t pay the bills So I do have some sympathy for people such as your kin but I am way past having any sympathy for employees of the Education Department constantly sniping about their employers in the press. Talk about politicising the education of children. As has been demonstrated on this blog plenty of times a fair proportion of them are rank & file Labour Party militia.

          • GazzW

            Patrick, I can only talk about my own family members. Both teach at totally non-unionised state schools – they didn’t set out to do that, its just the way it turned out. There will probably be more and more schools like that as older teachers retire. They and their colleagues dont give a damn about union politics.

          • blokeintakapuna

            Supposedly – the average age of a teacher in NZ is approx. 55 y/o – and there’s the huge issue for schools. Just how “relevant” are these 55 y/o’s to teenagers or younger ones today?

          • Teachersrock

            What smacks of self interest are you factually incorrect politically driven posts.

        • AnonWgtn

          The problem with Teachers is that the good ones, and there are many, are overwhelmed by the poorer ones who can only bitch about their unionised roles.
          Get individual Teachers to pay their union funds directly to the Unions, and let the others have a choice.
          God no – who is going to fund the Union staff and their screaming largesse.

        • Teachersrock

          I can tell you now that your family members reflect the attitudes of most nz teachers, union or not. So good on them for working for the kids.

      • Teachersrock

        Schools must be open for a set number of days by law. Any days off must be made up else where. You statement is just plain wrong.

        • GazzW

          TR, I guess that you and I will always disagree on unionisation and that’s a philosophic issue. I must have been lucky as a kid because I had some great teachers, two or three of whom shaped my life and for whom I still have the greatest respect. They were just everyday men and women who loved their work and probably accrued very little material wealth but who attained many other riches. As a result education has always held an interest for me and with two young members of my wider family involved in the profession it has given me a real insight on the huge amount of effort that goes into being a good teacher. I get annoyed by the often unfair comments levelled at the profession but willingly admit that the spokespeople for teachers do not do the profession justice. Teachers need a better public face.

          • Teachersrock

            And odds ar those teachers were part of the union. But it is good to see someone on here who actually understands the work involved, understands the good that is done, and is willing to stand up to the know nothing’s on sites like this.

  • Justsayn

    Agree, he should have refrained from the bit about charter schools but you take it too far.

    I don’t know him but by all accounts he is one of the few principals that is actually good at his job – works the teachers hard enough that the lazy go elsewhere, works hard to find businesses to help out with funding etc to the extent that other principals criticise him for it out of jealousy, and most importantly the kids there do very well.

    We need more like this bloke, even if he has the misfortune to be a Labour supporter.

    If your most meaningful criticism is the spelling of en masse then you and your tipster are registering high on the…

    • Agent BallSack

      That meter is going to get a hell of lot of use here…However, do you have one that goes up to 1000?

      • Justsayn

        Sadly no, but there is a variant I’m saving for a special occasion… say if GW Bush opened a library!

        • Pissedoffyouth

          I wish I could read what it says but I guess I went to school when Labour were in power

  • Justsayn

    The decile rating is a current issue for Frimley Primary (I moved to the area specifically so that my kids can go to this school when it is their turn). It is currently decile 3, but that is based on census data some 8 years old (remember the census was cancelled due to the Chch earthquake).

    Since the last census there has been a lot of greenfield development in the School’s zone. When the recent census data transfers into decile ratings the School’s will be about a 6, and funding will therefore sharply drop. Those changes are more dramatic because of the delay in the census.

    I think this newsletter is a start to inform the parents about that impending change as they will no doubt face requests for much larger “donations” next year than have been used to. Some of those parents are no better off than they were then the decile rating was a 3 (it is not that the whole area has changed) and they will find it hard.

    Rather than being political (apart from the bit about charter schools which was a silly thing to put in) this seems a sensible step to inform the parents about how the funding works so that the changes are not such a shock when they happen.

    • Peej

      A bit of sense amid the mire! Is the principal of a large district school though, not able to put his opinion on educational matters to the public he deals with? Is he qualified? Or is he only allowed to voice opinions matching those of whichever is the current government and vociferous bloggers.

      Most people in here (except GazzW) think teachers are dumb and should do what they are told, by anyone and everyone and be totally compliant and docile knowing their places at the bottom of any pecking order. Maybe GazzW’s family members have wasted their (most likely) vast effort, time, money and intellect gaining their qualifications. We don’t want to hear from them because any professional judgements they make and any expertise they try to bring to bear is pointless unless we agree with it We know better.

      • Justsayn

        Some are dumb, should do what they are told, and belong at the bottom of the pecking order… some but not all, and probably not most.

        What annoys many people that comment here, including me, is that those that are all of the above seem to be a strong majority when it comes to union activity. It would be be great if, as others have said above, the “good” teachers we know exist took back control of their own organisations because at the moment every time their organisation speak we may as well be listening to Andrew Little as they are one in the same.

        • Dave

          Comment of the day in my book Justsayn. Teachers revolt against union!!

          • Teachersrock

            More politically driven nonsense.

          • Agent BallSack

            TR pretty sure you belong to the union? Care to enlighten us as to the benefits that being a unionised teacher provides?

          • Teachersrock

            For me, the strength that comes from bargaining in large numbers and the willingness to speak out and fight against damaging policy from governments.

      • GazzW

        I don’t think that they have wasted their time Peej. Neither did Education degrees and did a post-grad Dip Ed which means that they can leave teaching and go and work in their specialist fields for double the money and a shitload less stress. They don’t because they love teaching and don’t moan about the pay or the hours because they knew exactly what they were signing up for. They love their work and that is the most important issue.

        Decile ratings have little to do with a school’s attraction as a place of employment. High decile schools can bring their own unique problems often with two full time professional parents (latch key kids), indulged materialist children, behavioural problems, social climbing etc. Equally low decile schools particularly those with a big Asian community can be an absolute joy to teach with motivated families and high work ethics.

        My really big concern here with the continual sniping is that if it is representative of NZ society that young graduates will either not join the profession or leave it for more rewarding fields or head overseas. Whatever, the system will be bereft of keen, well qualified and motivated staff who do not want to know about unions. Where the hell does that leave your kids and grandkids?

        • Dave

          GazzW and Peej. My kids went to a lower Decile school where I was elbowed into the BOT. In my experience a lot of excellent teachers who worked very very hard, but also a few there to collect the pay cheque, much like any workplace or profession.

          However, the difficulty is the majority i knew or was involved with, had an ingrained socialist view of the world, and wanted the Govt to provide almost everything. This creates a negative aspect. Then there is the issue of tthe small number of serious Non Performers and the FACT its almost impossible to get rid of them, we had to push one as so incompetent De-registration was an option, thankfully they left as we started the process.

          Justsayn’s suggestion is very valid, and would (i believe) change the way the profession is perceived, the ones that disagree with the unions, or even the Principles federation need to stand up and say so. At the moment, they are being seen as guilty just be being silent or by association of their union!

  • Ronnie Chow

    This guy is illiterate . His use of English is very amateur . The first paragraph could be improved by a twelve year old kid . Is this ‘Teachersrock’ ?

    • Dave

      Dont think so Ronnie, I believe (but am not certain) old mate TeachersCock, Meg, Kosh etal, resides somewhere north of Auckland……

  • JeffDaRef

    He’s having a swipe at Banks – pal, at least Banks holds a seat he was voted into by the people – god help us if the Greens and Winston are ever in Government despite their inability to win an electorate seat…

    • Teachersrock

      Not for much longer.

  • Dave

    And, his employers reps, the BOT should be pointing out to him, NO political statements allowed mate, keep it clear of politics.

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    Talk about the blind leading the blind!

  • pukakidon

    What a thick prick it is en mass

  • BR

    “Our figures are only as accurate as the honesty and integrity of our teachers.”

    That sounds like a disclaimer. An excuse in advance for when the results don’t match performance.

    In any case, this is why exams are vital. The students are tested on their knowledge and understanding by a dispassionate third party. There is no other way to get the measure of a student’s competence and readiness for the workplace other than by asking questions and checking the answers.


  • Tamaki

    Funny that there is no alternative given on how to lift primary performance,

    His bigotry is unequivocal proof that we need Charter Schools.