Changes to Guidelines for the Preference of Enrolment
At the end of 2016 the NZCBC made a change to preference of enrolment criterion 5.4. This was circulated, and then a further update was provided in February 2017 to Bishops/diocesan administrators. Schools and parishes should already have copies, but if necessary it can be sourced from the diocesan office. The material on the NZCEO website will be updated shortly.
Presentation to the Select Committee on the Education (Update) Amendment Bill
APIS staff presented to the Select Committee in January 2017, and stressed that APIS has an agreement with the Secretary for Education, which states that none of the intent of the text of the PSCI Act will be changed in its placement into Part 33 of the Education (Update) Amendment Bill. APIS staff and legal counsel are happy with practically every clause of Part 33. There is still some negotiation to be done about one clause.
$1 million for more wireless technology for schools
A funding increase for SNUP (school network upgrade project) will see $1 million provided towards retrofitting wireless technology at 34 state integrated schools. Ms Parata says, ‘This is about schools having the digital infrastructure they need to make the most of online resources for learning. Through this multi-million dollar investment, we’re enabling students to have access to the online world for learning, no matter where they go to school.’
An Alert for Proprietors and Boards of Trustees
It is illegal for Proprietors or Boards of Trustees to engage debt collectors to collect donations (which should not be referred to as ‘school fees’) from families. Only attendance dues are legally enforceable. If in doubt contact NZCEO for advice. A more detailed reminder has recently been circulated.
We have been asked by the Police to remind you of Safer Schools, a new resource that will help primary/intermediate schools to identify and prioritise action that will make the school environment safer. It has been developed by the Police in collaboration with Fleur Knight, a teacher experienced in student-led ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” (CPTED). This resource can be downloaded from the Police’s School Portal http://www.police.govt.nz/advice/personal-and-community-advice/school-portal
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Communities of Learning
All schools have had time to consider their involvement in a COL and in some areas integrated schools have been early adopters, leading some exciting changes. We encourage Boards of Trustees and school staff to continue to look for opportunities to be in a Community of Learning. While faith-based COLs are especially valuable for the practice of many integrated schools, just belonging to a COL and being part of the wider provision of education helps to share the mission and purpose of your school. Similarly, we should not be resistant to schools joining an existing COL just because their integration agreement supports a different special character tradition.
Modern Learning Environments
The Ministry of Education is committed to ensuring that new schools and rebuilds are reframed to support a modern learning environment. It will take many years before all buildings are modernised to facilitate this change in both the state and integrated networks. However, modern learning buildings are only one part of the change – pedagogy shift is central. Deprivatising practice, i.e. moving away from closed door separate classrooms, is only one part of the way we can engage with shift, and for any modern building to be used effectively it requires major investment in pedagogy to reframe teaching styles and shared work. This can start long before we have a modern building in every school.
Child Poverty Latest Statistics
The 2016 Child Poverty Monitor was recently released by the Children’s Commissioner. It shows that 295,000 NZ children (28% of children) live in households with low incomes, i.e. less than 60% of the median contemporary income. 90,000 NZ children (8% of children) live in households with severe poverty, i.e. low income and material hardship. Visit http://www.childpoverty.co.nz, http://www.facebook.com/childpovertymonitor for more details.