ED's Letter

August 2013


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Leadership from every angle


Peter Hughes’ permanent appointment to the role of Secretary for Education coincided nicely with our annual Leadership & Professional Development issue, and we were pleased to have the opportunity to pick his brain about his views on the Ministry and leadership. Given the rocky road the Ministry of Education has travelled in recent years, it is interesting Mr Hughes should embrace the position with such relish, describing it as “the best job in the public service”.  While he concedes the organisation “needs a bit of work”, he is quick to point out the huge amount of good work going on and the committed, professional, and passionate people driving the Ministry.

The Ministry has certainly had a lot on its plate – Christchurch schools renewal, Partnership schools, Novopay, to name just a few items on its sizeable ‘to do’ list – and in this edition, we take a closer look at a few significant issues, including the future of New Zealand Teachers Council. Chairman Peter Lind speaks candidly to Education Review about the way the Council’s review was conducted and the likely implications for the future of the Council.

We also look closer at the much-hyped Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) programmes and question whether the injection of funding allocated in this year’s Budget will be money well spent.

From the head of the Ministry, to boards of trustees, to school principals, to student leaders – this issue probes leadership from every angle, from a range of compelling voices. Stuart Middleton casts scrutiny over the current model of school governance, questioning the merit and appropriateness of boards of trustees. Jacqui Patuawa shares why professional development for principals is so important. Jade Tawhiti gives a firsthand account of what he’s learned as a first-time principal.

Arguably the most aspirational leaders to be found in this issue are the student leaders we met from Hamilton Boys’ High School and Tauranga Girls’ College. It is heartening to note that these students in their final year of secondary school have emerged from their experience of New Zealand education confident and ready to take on the next stage of their journey.

These stories and many others can be found in this issue of Leadership & Professional Development; we hope you enjoy them.


Jude Barback, editor


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