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Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Don’t Drop The Baton NZPF Conference 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Don’t Drop The Baton NZPF Conference 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Don’t Drop The Baton NZPF Conference 2008

2 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Don’t drop the Baton  New Zealand schools are good at what we do. We have one of the best education systems in the world.  Our funding system is rather unique and while it is not perfect we have continual arguments on what could be done to improve it.  I get to visit schools around the country and am impressed by the passion of our colleagues. Our initiatives and our ideas. Our unique approach.

3 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation We are good!  We deliver a curriculum free of the autocratic demands placed by other nations on their teachers around curriculum delivery.  We have so far avoided the entrapment of national testing and associated stress relating to teaching to the test.  We have an education review system that allows us to set our own goals and report on the achievement of those goals.  We can direct, within reason, our own resources to develop the culture we want in our schools.  We can employ the staff we want to maintain the vision we have for education.

4 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation We are a part of our community  We work with our communities to form a partnership in educating our children. While your BOT meeting may not be the favourite time of the month, the photos we just received from the ‘out and about’ campaign showed how extensive our community involvement is.  We have an inclusive education system. For all its flaws and funding issues we do have the ability to mainstream our pupils for the benefit of our communities.  We have a Professional Development programme that did not exist 5 years ago and is a very realistic attempt to address issues raised. First time Principals, Aspiring Principals, PDPC, PPLG and contestable funding (more on this later).

5 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Don’t Drop the Baton  If we are so good what is the future? What is the strategic plan? What direction are we going? What are the solutions?  More money? Budgets are boring! We could double the funding tomorrow and still have complaints.  In China they teach 50 pupils per class - but they only teach 11 sessions a week.  Are we going to wait for the Government to develop new initiatives to give us the satisfaction in our employment that we crave for.

6 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation How do we keep running this race with a vision to win and not drop the baton?

7 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation The Baton (or progress in education) is affected by powerful forces  Initiatives  Accountability  Managerial diversion  We may be Unfit for Purpose  Strategies with Potential  Recruitment and Retention  Clusters Networks and Partnerships  International Benchmarks

8 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Initiatives  We get ‘initiated out’! An endless stream of disconnected innovations that no one could possibly manage. Abrahamson calls it ‘repetitive change syndrome’.  Initiative overload, change related chaos, wide spread employee anxiety, cynicism and burnout.  How many of us believe the ‘system’ is on our side? Our surveys indicate 62% believe we get good advice from the Ministry and 50% believe they get good advice from SE.

9 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Accountability  Externally imposed, ill conceived and poorly driven. Having an annual plan is a good idea. Sending it to the Ministry is not!  External intervention results in pro forma compliance.

10 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Managerial Diversion  Manage the budget, the plant, personnel, public relations, the BOT, the initiatives, the staffroom notice board, the lost property, the buses, the fund raising, the before school/after school programme….  Aided and abetted by some ‘super’ Principals and familiar to NZ Principals who work in smaller schools.

11 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Unfit for Purpose  The role has changed dramatically  It is incredibly more complex and substantially different  You may be ill fitted to the purpose and lack the experience..and you drop the baton..(but we can help you pick it up and run with it as you will see)  Includes unethical behaviour (buses, media comments, staff poaching) A minority in NZ

12 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Strategies with Potential  It’s a good idea but it doesn’t work because of:  Timing  lack of sense of purpose (healthy food a school priority?)  Constraints (we don’t all have a pool)

13 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Recruitment and Retention  ‘how are we going to keep them on the farm once they have seen the farm?”

14 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation International Benchmarks  The ongoing debate about arbitrary and externally imposed literacy targets.  Information overload can drive us to distraction.

15 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Cluster Networks and Partnerships  Like Fullan I see cluster networks and partnerships as vital to the future of Principalship and to the success of the system as a whole but the cluster must not be a time waster and you must want to be involved. Open plan classrooms are an idea that worked, but only for some!  However to my way of thinking not dropping the baton involves networking and is the only option I see at this stage.

16 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Networking/Clusters/Collegial Support  trees work (unless you are the President)  Visiting and mentoring and ringing works better!  Clusters work but sharing results works better.  Our surveys indicate that 82% of us believe we get good advice from our professional organisation and our colleagues.  Yet external accountability hand in hand with internal values, practices of responsibility and efficacy works. Have you ever heard a colleague say “we’ve failed dismally to reach our targets and I’m going to quit!” Yet if you have connectability with your fellow Principals through networks or clusters and are open about your goals and successes you do receive positive feedback.

17 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Creating connections to family and whanau (more networking)  BES evidence shows that ‘we need to make connections to students lives in order to optimise student outcomes..’ what better argument is there for our NZ curriculum that is not top down but has the ability to be locally driven using school and community cultural contexts. What is important to us?

18 Paddy Ford - President New Zealand Principals’ Federation Be an effective Principal  Use NZPF or Leadspace or local network.  Don’t do the work that you asked others to do.  We need continued diagnostic data over time to compare ourselves with ourselves. We need to know what we want to improve.  We need to be assessment literate and able to discuss this within our schools and our networks.


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