Drastic changes to the New Zealand education system recommended, in draft form, by an independent government taskforce have been fiercely shot down by Macleans in an email sent home to parents and caregivers.

In an unusual joint letter, Principal Steven Hargreaves and Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Wilkie said that the proposed draft “changes would destroy the school system in New Zealand as we know it”.

“We will need the help of our parents and school community if we are to successfully oppose these changes. The working group makes it clear that they believe the current school system is broken. I strongly disagree.”

The letter continued by suggesting that the taskforce’s draft “Education Hub” proposal would “remove community influence on schools by centralising control and doing away with Board of Trustees input”.

A report with detailed analysis will reportedly be prepared by local East Auckland schools including Macleans, in order to oppose the taskforce’s draft recommendations in the consultation phase. The authoring of the report will apparently involve meetings with parents after the holiday break.

What are the recommendations of the taskforce?

The independent taskforce led by former Pakuranga College principal Bali Haque was commissioned by the government in order to review education in New Zealand as a whole. Its draft recommendations were described by observers as “radical”, “sweeping” and the “biggest shake-up in 30 years”.

More details, including the taskforce report and summary, can be found in the links below.

Read more:

NZ Govt: Tomorrow’s Schools Review — Full report and summary
Education Central: ERO, NZQA and intermediate schools could be disestablished under Tomorrow’s Schools Review
Stuff: What is an Education Hub? Unpicking the new vision for NZ’s school system
Newsroom: A new tomorrow for schools rich and poor
RNZ: Taskforce suggests huge school reform

The draft recommendations from the consultation report have attracted criticism from principals at some secondary schools, with Macleans piling on.

Read more:

Stuff: School v school: Principals push back against proposals to neuter competition
NZ Herald: ‘Stalinist’ or ‘exciting’: Battle begins over radical school reforms

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the taskforce’s draft proposals would be open for consultation until the 7 April 2019. An online survey will be launched next January and the taskforce would report back to the Ministry of Education with final proposals on the 30 April 2019.

Editor’s note: Edited after publication

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