Principal’s Federation

Would pay reductions help then? Would that motivate better outcomes?

The Principals’ union boss doesn’t want principals to get more money. She says that there is no evidence to suggest that paying people more will get better results.

Principals’ Federation president Denise Torrey has criticised the Principal Recruitment Allowance scheme through which?five schools have received a $50,000 boost to their principal’s salary.

Opononi School and Mangamuka School in Northland, Ngaruawahia High School in Waikato, Kimi Ora Community School in Hawkes Bay, and Aranui Community Campus in Christchurch are the first to receive the allowance to recruit principals.

Under the scheme, which is part of the government’s $359m Investing in Educational Success programme, principals will receive an additional $50,000 a year for three years and the board can apply for two further renewals of two years each.

Torrey warned that “more money in a principal’s pocket” would not help kids learn better, or make a better principal.

Principal salaries ranged from $90,000 to $160,000 depending on the roll size, she said. ? Read more »

Teachers part of the problem, not the solution

The DomPost editorial suggests that teachers, or more accurately the teacher unions are part of the problem not the solution regarding national standards.

The time has come for teacher unions to accept that national standards in reading, writing and mathematics are here to stay.

Parents clearly want plain-English reports about how their children are progressing in the three most important building blocks for a sound education, and the policy has been overwhelmingly endorsed at the last two elections.

It is therefore in teachers’ interests to work with the Ministry of Education to ensure a sound system of assessment and data collection. Sadly, the signs this week are that teacher unions and representatives will continue cutting off their noses to spite their faces.? Read more »

NZ Principals’ Federation double speak, Ctd

Earlier I blogged about the double speak of Phil Palfrey from the Principals’ Federation.

This is what he had to say when the idea of Charter Schools was introduced:

“It has just made somebody like me, who has spent my whole life trying to make a difference in kids’ lives and all the people that I know who put in the work on a daily basis ? it just makes us feel worthless,” he says.

The statements that make it seem that somehow he thinks it is about him and not the kids are not helpful. I understand he has genuinely done great things at Manurewa East. ?Patch protection does not help the other kids though.

What is frustrating at times is that people obviously consider the public to be so dumb. Lowering the optional entrance age may or may not be a good idea but to put something like:

Dr Sarah Farquhar, chief executive of ChildForum, said countries which let 4-year-olds go to school, such as the Netherlands, had a high level of academic achievement.

Riiight…so you choose one country and one factor of education and say that this is the key. Why do you not choose that generally Dutch children go home for lunch for 2 hours a day to eat well and rest a revitalise for another a good afternoons work?

Or how about the fact the Holland is below NZ on the 2009 PISA tables – surely the NZPF should be saying “We have a world class education system – don’t change this either”?

So many people in education are prepared to think and speak publically in ways they would not accept from 10 years olds in terms of using unsupportable statements.

Time to smash the Teachers Unions, all of them, hard

The Dompost shows the very great lengths that the Tweetchers and Principals are prepared to go to to control the sector.

A group of rebel principals plotted to “quietly take over” an association representing 90 per cent of school boards in an effort to overwhelm the national standards debate, leaked emails suggest.

An email exchange shows principals involved in a boycott of the standards discussed “dealing with” the New Zealand School Trustees Association.

“The easiest way is for us to quietly take over regional organisations of NZSTA … Just imagine NZSTA run by principals!” an email written by Hora Hora School principal Pat Newman states.

Mr Newman is former president of the Principals’ Federation and the immediate past president of the Tai Tokerau Principals Association.

He is one of two Labour Party members vying for selection to stand as the Labour candidate in Whangarei next year.

His email was sent to, among others, Denise Torrey, president of the Canterbury Primary Principals Association; Frances Nelson, president of the national primary teachers’ union; Iain Taylor, president of the Auckland Primary Principals Association, and Perry Rush, Island Bay School principal.

Marlene Campbell, principal of Invercargill’s Salford School and a member of the Southland Primary Principals Association executive, which this week called Education Minister Anne Tolley “Minister Hitler”, was also a recipient. All have been vocal critics of the national standards.

Mr Taylor responded to Mr Newman’s August 20 email with: “Oh that the go!! Great thinking … loved ya email to her too … man she awful!!” Mr Taylor was referring to NZSTA president Lorraine Kerr, who has refused to criticise or fully endorse the standards.

The organisation they wanted to infiltrate and take over by stealth is the same organisation that reminded Borads of Trustees that they were now to pass any school funds on to the illegal boycott of National Standards. No wonder the Labour member activist?Principals?wanted to take it over.

While Labour candidate presumptive Pat Newman thinks that it is all much ado about nothing his vast protest against the implementation of government policy seems to be unravelling before their very eyes. With leak after leak of documents showing their meddling, their nicking of state funding to pay for the protest and the outright lies of their cause, is it any surprise then that we find out that a third of the schools that Pat Newman and his fellow conspirators have declared to be in their cabal, aren’t, in fact.

Nearly a third of the schools that said they had no confidence in National Standards have told the Ministry of Education they do in fact plan to implement the controversial scheme.

A group called Boards Taking Action Coalition said last week that the trustees from 225 schools around the country had issued a vote of no confidence in National Standards. As a result those schools would refuse to set student achievements targets for next year until the system was reviewed.

The next day the ministry starting contacting all of the protesting schools’ boards of trustees to check the claim.

The Herald has learned 66 of the 225 coalition boards indicated their schools planned to implement the standards in full. A further 109 said they would take some form of action or were yet to decide if they would implement the standards in full. Fifty schools are yet to be contacted.

The ministry yesterday said it could not comment as it had not finished making all the calls.

So this means that the cabal of conspirators are in fact big fat liars. Worse thing is that these people are in charge of teaching our children.

I think it is high time that there was a general smacking around of the teacher and?principal?unions. They certainly shouldn’t be able to avail themselves of taxpayers funds to mount their protests.

While we are smacking about uppity teachers, i see that the Herald has also picked up that Marlene Campbell just can’t seem to say sorry like she means it. If there was any case for the sacking of a?Principal?it is her case, and I would put a commissioner into her school, along with Perry Rush’s and Pat Newman’s.

I'll start listening to teachers on National Standards when they stop hiding criminals

I’m over the teachers unions, The Teachers Council and teachers in general. They are against National Standards for no other reason that it is the national party proposing it, they want huge pay increases because they were silent for Labour for nine years, and they through the Teachers Council and the registration board keep allowing dodgy teachers to hide their names and continue teaching.

On the front page of the Sunday Star Time today it is there in all its glory, the protection of criminal teachers by the Teachers Council.

THIS IS the story the Teachers Council did not want told. The search for the information on criminals teaching our children ultimately needed the intervention of the ombudsman. Journalist Catherine Woulfe ? now based at Sunday magazine ? sought the facts but the council declined, on the ground it was not in the public interest. Official Information Act requests were made asking for a range of information on teachers self-reporting a conviction since January 2008. The council again refused, primarily on the grounds it “would require substantial collation and research”. It also said it wanted $3277.12 to cover costs. The Sunday Star-Times went to the ombudsman, who reduced the charge to $760, which we paid. After a year of persistence, the council has finally provided the information.

And while they were obstructing the Sunday Star Times and trying to protect dodgy teachers they were issuing press releases and letters explaining just exactly how they want teachers to vote in a “survey” of the members.

Now don’t get me wrong here, not all crimes are equal and people can certainly make mistakes in their life that shouldn’t necessarily impact their career, but life is tough and sometimes you just have to cop it on the chin. Not if you are a teacher though. You get a free ride, especially if your crimes are against children.

In the past two years, 58 teachers have dobbed themselves in for being convicted of offences punishable by more than three months jail.

That is the threshhold [sic] which requires them to be investigated by the New Zealand Teachers Council.

Despite the admissions, those who retained or were granted teachers registration included ones convicted of:

* Indecent assault against a teenage girl.

* Assault with a blunt instrument and male assaults female.

* Possession of an objectionable publication but is awaiting sentence.

* Threatening to kill, and assault on a woman.

* Grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard.

And a district court judge has also ordered the teachers council to reconsider a primary teacher it banned after she verbally threatened children in class.

I can handle drink driving offences, and fraud, anyone can make mistakes like that once and get over it and still not affect their ability to teach, but I’m afraid that possession of objectionable material, indecent assault, assault, threatening to kill and GBH do not a teacher make.

I remembered a quote in the NZ Herald by Trevor Mallard about this issue regarding the Teachers Council.

Labour education spokesman Trevor Mallard said the council should be moving towards more openness with the public and parents.

“In the end the presumption should be towards openness, and naming is part of the punishment. If you do something that is that serious that you are suspended or struck off, then that should be a matter that is public.”

Education law expert Patrick Walsh said parents had “a right to know”.

And those comments were about the news that:

Five teachers disciplined for offences ranging from sex with students to watching porn in a classroom have had their identities protected as calls to “name and shame” grow.

The details of the ruling against the teachers were published by the Teachers’ Council this week. Two teachers disciplined for misconduct could be back teaching next year. The cases include:

A married male teacher struck off for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student for 18 months.

A male teacher struck off after being caught cruising a public toilet for sex;

A female teacher struck off after being caught claiming the DPB while working;

A female teacher suspended for a year for showing porn to a colleague in a class of 5-year-olds;

A female teacher warned for slapping and hitting 7-year-old students.

The rulings prompted fresh calls for an end to the secret nature of the Teachers’ Council.

I thought it would be timely to see what Mr Mallard had to say this time around and so I popped off an email and received a reply within about 15 minutes. His reply to my questions (and yes I checked if they could be on the record) leaves no room for doubt where he, a former teacher and Labour’s spokesperson on Education, stands on this issue of criminally convicted teachers remaining anonymously in the classroom.

I think that in some cases there is room for suppression. But I think there is a systemic breakdown between Police, the Teachers Council and Trustees/Principals.

I think there should be a system whereby each is obliged to inform the other and the Council keeps what might be described as an interim or grey list. That would mean problems couldn’t shift from school to school.

I wouldn’t rule out a teacher with a criminal conviction teaching but can’t think of a good reason for hiding it from parents.

One way of course of meeting that goal is to remove the automatic secrecy that applies in almost every case The Teachers Council deals with and remove also name suppression from our courts system in the case of the accused. Then there can be no doubt whatsoever as to who is teaching our children. By keeping secrets, name suppression and the Teachers Council create and perpetrate that there is something which must be hidden, so the presumption by parents, rightly, is that the crime must be bad. However the truth is that they aren’t. To my mind it matters not a bit that a teacher got caught with his hand in the till at the rugby club when he was secretary, or Mrs Art Teacher got pinged once for drink driving. It doesn’t affect their role as a teacher. But sex crimes and assault against children. No mercy, name and shame.

The Teacher's Council - Pedobear Seal of Approval

The Teacher's Council - Pedobear Seal of Approval

It is time we removed the keeping of secrets from our courts and from our classrooms. The sooner people accept that one of the consequences of breaking the law is getting named the sooner they will realise that they made a mistake.

Remember next time you hear teachers unions, The Teachers Council, The Principal’s Federation and the Auckland Primary Principals Association banging on against National Standards that they support the hiding of teachers details who are convicted of sex and violence crimes against children and that they want those same teachers to be teaching YOUR children.

I’ll start listening to all of them about national standards when they stop hiding criminals.

The PPTA, NZEI, The Teachers Council, The Principal’s Federation and the Auckland Primary Principals Association have all earned the Pedobear Seal of Approval for devious crim protecting behaviour.