Sunday, 13 October 2019

Tomorrow's Schools Working Group Still MIA

“Another week goes by and schools are none the wiser about the outcome of the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The taskforce released an interim report last December, last time the Beehive made any official comment on the matter. At the time the Education Minister said the Independent Taskforce’s report was ‘bold,’ and would prompt ‘deep’ discussion about ‘what our schooling system should look like for the next 30 years.’ He concluded, ‘The Government will make decisions on implementing the review in mid-2019.’

“The Taskforce itself was extremely big on public consultation. It boasted of dozens of public meetings and private consultations, with Panel members saying that the consultation had been comprehensive.

“All of that made sense considering the scope and scale of changes proposed for the compulsory education sector. Communities were to lose all legal rights they had to govern schools through elected boards. It promised to be one of the largest education reforms in New Zealand history.

“However, the level of enthusiasm for education policy reform and the amount of fanfare surrounding it now marks a stark contrast with the total radio silence of the past six months since the Independent Panel’s final report was due in April.

“We have heard nothing, nada, from the Minister since last December. Parents, principals, and teachers can rightly wonder what on earth the Government has planned. Are they going to implement the plan put forward in the interim report? Have they dumped it? Are they working on something else? Nobody knows.

“The Minister should release a statement telling people when to expect announcements, at the very least. It is starting to look like very messy political management from Chris Hipkins."