Posts by Jane Blaikie

a small blue thing – life on the spectrum

Long-time NZEI Te Riu Roa member Julie Hanify has written this memoir like a GoPro butterfly, dipping across a known landscape from an unfamiliar perspective. The insights for educators are valuable. “I decided to go teaching because I had been so unhappy during my own school years and I wanted children to be happy to…

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Best apps for students

Hapara Dashboard is popular at Mangaroa School, says deputy principal Andrew de Wit. This dashboard is an organisational layer that sits over Google Apps for Education. Hapara helps organise and make sense of students’ work and gives teachers a central/big picture view of their learners across all of their apps. The dashboard is ordered under…

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Reviews – autumn 2016

The issue that will not go away   Atmosphere of Hope Tim Flannery This book is a fantastic insight into the increasingly hard-to-ignore issue of climate change.  Tim Flannery first rose to prominence after his book The Weather Makers.  His work has been used extensively and in recognition of his expertise, he was appointed to…

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Stronger together: better pay for support staff

Support staff are the professionals at the heart of our schools and centres. They hold it together for all of us. But who’s holding it together for support staff?  Support staff pay is already bulkfunded from the ops grant – making the hours uncertain and the pay low. Now, the government has announced it will…

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Vote for children, vote for education

 Educators from 93% of schools and 65% of kindergartens have voted 99% in favour of resolutions that oppose bulk funding and call for their meaningful engagement in the development of any new funding measures. “It is clear that ‘global funding’ would be a mask for underfunding,” NZEI president, and principal, Louise Green, told members. “Bulk…

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250 minutes of release time – a week

“The landscape here really isn’t red or orange,” says principal Steve Berezowski (right), who last term was the guinea pig in a new principal exchange programme. He swapped his 540-student school in Gisborne for Richmond Primary, with a roll of 308. “It’s green in Adelaide,” he told EA last term. There were many similarities between…

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Finalists live now at Kaboom.nz

Hundreds of gorgeous entries to the Kaboom art competition are now up on the website. See the artistic talent that’s alive and well in our centres and schools. The research is clear that the arts boost learning. But education reforms that focus on literacy and numeracy, along with underfunding, squeeze educators’ ability to provide quality…

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$27,425 for an SUV? Really?

As ECE and state schools grapple with under-funding , charter schools seem awash with cash. Their trusts are accumulating millions in assets and admin payments are through the roof. Charter schools had an average roll of 112 at the start of 2016. Six of the eight schools were operating below their funded Guaranteed Minimum Roll…

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Education news: spring 2016

SEG funding falls by 1.8% The Special Education Grant (SEG) paid to schools through operational grant funding is failing to keep up with wage inflation and roll growth. Between 2009 and 2016, the SEG rose from $33.5m to $39m, according to figures released to EA under an Official Information Act request. The grant is shared…

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Another attempt at increasing class sizes

A smart government knows that when a particular policy hits the brick wall of public opinion, you quickly retreat and try to find another way around. In 2012 the government hit just such a brick wall when it tried to increase class sizes to save $174 million from the education budget over four years. The…

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