NZEI Te Riu Roa Joint Initiative Working Party explain why they are in the fight for communities of learning and how they are different

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Hiria-Te-Moana

Hiria Te Moana, teaching principal, Ruatoki

Achieving the dream

The Joint Initiative (JI) isn’t about the money. It’s about working collaboratively to get the best possible outcome for students. With the JI you have a choice in how you use resources to achieve the wawata – the dream.

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Merearihi-Whatuira

Merearihi Whatuira, kaiako, Gisborne

“No” is not an option

As far as we can see, the government is set on its agenda. So we would rather do it ourselves than get it done to us. It’s better to be in there working for a better way for kura kaupapa Māori. “No” is not an option. It’s better to form our own communities, according to what we need.

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Liam-Rutherford

Liam Rutherford, teacher, Palmerston North, Manawatu.

More time for teachers

What’s going to make an actual impact to students’ success is when teachers have more time to collaborate and share resources and knowledge – it’s not necessarily about teacher allowances.

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David-McNair

David McNair, principal, Hamilton

More than one way to success

We’ve been presented with a top-down model and only one model. We believe there should be a variety of ways of achieving the results – rather than having an imposed model from the ministry.

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Jan-Tinetti

Jan Tinetti, principal, Bay of Plenty

Children at the centre

I’m really committed to the Joint Initiative. It has children at the centre and seamless pathways. It puts us on an equal footing with ECE colleagues and gives us flexibility. If we can get it through, it will make a difference for children and their learning pathways. It’s exciting.

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Deirdre-Alderson

Deidre Alderson, principal, Auckland

We can do this better

The Joint Initiative is straight “teacher voice”, saying “we could do this better”. We have the expertise to develop a more sophisticated model that’s more relevant across New Zealand, recognising that areas are distinctively different. We’ve the ability to come up with a better model – so let’s make the damn thing a standout.

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Spot the difference

 

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Communities of schools

  • Communities of schools
  • Politically driven
  • Schools directed into clusters
  • Introduced as election-year policy
  • Top-down, one-sizefits- all
  • Designed around money and roles
  • Narrow outcomes
  • Primary and secondary schools
  • Executive leadership
  • Teachers and principals

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Communities of learning

  • Professionally led
  • Evidenced by practice and research
  • Flexible roles and resourcing to drive collaboration and innovation
  • Primary and secondary schools and ece
  • Professional leadership
  • Support staff, teachers and principals
  • Potential to address key issues – Māori and Pasifika learning, special ed, the role of support staff, pld
  • Voluntary, self-identifying clusters
  • Success across broad curriculum
  • Roles fit career pathways
  • Focus on transitions, cultural competency and community engagement

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Timeline

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  • January 2014 – Out of the blue, Prime Minister John Key announces Investing in Educational Success (IES), a new $359m policy. But it turns out to be a top-down, onesize- fits-all model to be driven by unreliable National Standards data.
  • February 2014 – NZEI members start work on a Better Plan to benefit children’s learning.
  • August 2014 – NZEI members vote to reject IES.
  • December 2014 – NZEI members and the Ministry of Education sign an agreement to work on a Joint Initiative ‘to progress … a framework that enables collaboration and transitions’.
  • January-May 2015 NZEI members spend thousands of hours gathering evidence, research and exemplars and working with ministry officials to design a better model.
  • August 2015 NZEI members vote to enter into negotiations to vary collective primary agreements, which would bring a Community of Learning model into practice.
  • September 2015 NZEI primary members vote. Member meetings see robust debate on the ministry’s offer. In the end, the vote is a cautious Yes.
  • October 2015 Joint Initiative Phase 2 begins as NZEI member leaders work to secure ongoing improvement. Bargaining underway on new collective agreements for teachers and principals.
  • November/December 2015 NZEI member leaders will report back on progress made in negotiations. Development of guidelines and related resources for Communities of Learning underway.

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