Research, links, news and documents of interest to secondary and area school principals.
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Implementation of Vocational Pathways - letter to the Minister
- Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 04:01
Secondary Principals’ Council (SPC) letter to Education Minister Hekia Parata conveying concerns that the Ministry of Education and NZQA are intending to report Vocational Pathways results in January 2014. We understand that this matter is now on the agenda for the Vocational Pathways meeting on 16 April 2013.
7 March 2013
Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education
Implementation of Vocational Pathways
The Secondary Principals’ Council has asked me to urgently convey to you our concerns that the Ministry of Education and NZQA are intending to report Vocational Pathways results in January 2014, i.e. based on assessment results from this year’s study.
Secondary schools do not, as yet, know the final shape of the Pathways in terms of the award requirements or the lists of standards that contribute to the pathways. We saw draft materials last year, but we know that a number of significant changes have been made since then. We have been told by officials that they expect that the final design of the Pathways will be announced by yourself and Hon Steven Joyce later this month or next month.
To report Vocational Pathways results to students in January 2014, from this year’s NCEA assessment, before schools have had a chance to review their course offerings in the light of the final Pathways, would be highly disrespectful to secondary schools. Schools need time to study the Pathways, consider how they might modify their school programmes in the light of them, and then publish the new opportunities to students and their families in course booklets in the second half of this year. Students would then be able to choose their 2014 courses with the Pathways in mind.
Secondary Principals' Newsletter September 2012
- Last Updated on Thursday, 27 September 2012 04:58
20 September 2012
Two items have taken our attention recently and need comment.
Changing the payroll system for what is, I believe, the largest workforce in New Zealand was bound to be a challenge. I doubt if there were many of us who didn’t think that the optimistic forecasts might not play out entirely as intended.
Few of us will be surprised, then, that even after an extended development process and what seemed to be a planned approach to training intended users, schools are finding problems with the Novopay system.
From feedback I have had, it seems the issues and the degree of disruption vary from school to school.
While it might be cathartic to complain loudly and question the wisdom of the people responsible for its implementation, it’s going to be more helpful to clearly identify the problems as they affect our schools and convey these to the people who have to make the system work.
While you will want to get action on the specific issues that your school faces, there are gains to be made in also being able to communicate with the policy-makers in the Ministry and the management of Novopay about the general state of play and the ongoing impacts on the sector.
If you have views on any aspect of Novopay systems and the effect on your school please get back to me.
I will assemble those concerns and ensure that they get to where they need to go. As well as the specific problems such as the non-payment of staff and relievers I am also interested in what your experience to date shows will be longer term and ongoing impacts, such as increased workload on staff in your school and problems around the range of data, input and checking that now seems to be required.
The more specific problems will almost certainly be fixed quite quickly but the long-term ongoing workload issues will not be addressed unless we ensure that pressure is put on the Ministry to look at ways that schools can be compensated for that.
Novopay changeover and principals’ annual leave
- Last Updated on Sunday, 02 September 2012 22:37
At the recent SPC meeting, Ministry of Education chief information officer Leanne Gibson explained that there are many secondary principals with very high accrued annual leave balances.
It seems that principals are not in the habit of alerting payroll when they take their five weeks’ annual leave, as provided for in the SPCA, part 5.10.1.
It is important that leave taken be recorded using the Novopay online system. This is a simple matter of data entry and does not connote any change in custom or practice with regard to principals’ annual leave.
It is important also to note that any accrued leave must be agreed between the principal and their board, in writing, as per part 5.10.3 of the SPCA.