NZSTA Annual Conference Auckland

  • Boards of Trustees created 25 years ago, with a government decision, putting control into the hands of local communities.
  • Still learning about these responsibilities.
  • All educational interest groups sit around the table with the Minister.
  • Volunteers are not accountable; Boards of Trustees try to present a balanced view.
  • $6 million from government to run the organisation.
  • Children are like popcorn. They pop at different times. They need to be watched and it’s the parent’s job to put a bit of heat under these popcorn.


Hekia Parata, Minister for Education

  • NZSTA fearless in pursuing governance and excellence.
  • Resources doubled for NZSTA over last few years
  • More children starting earlier, staying longer at school and leaving better qualified.

What the government found

  • No real time information on how children are learning.
  • Complicated education speak.
  • Widely differing levels of welcome into different schools around the country.
  • Underfunded and unclear expectations of Boards of Trustees.

What they have done

  • Introduced National Standards
  • 6-monthly plain-English reporting
  • Increased funding to Boards of Trustees by 84% so that parents have a stronger voice – appraisal, employment

Where they are going

  • An on-line parent survey tool for use by individual schools.
  • Will implement 1500 Whanau Education plans in local communities
  • Created a parent portal
  • All parents need to know in a simplified manner


  • It’s the quality of teaching and leadership that make the most difference in student performance.
  • Can schools see that what they are doing will improve student learning outcomes in measurable terms.

Where are they going

  • $359 million over four years to help Principals and teachers raise achievement in all schools.
  • Executive principal expert teachers and lead teachers
  • Collaboration to be practiced between schools.
  • Communities of schools which don’t replace networks.

Public Information Achievement chart

  • Data published next week
  • Overview of all indicators

Where is this going

  • EDUCANZ board attracting the best and brightest and best to teaching.
  • Improvement in Maori and Pasifica outcomes improving
  • From numbers to names to individual needs

Schools needed help to deal with the disruptive students successfully

  • Digital improvements
  • One teacher funded for every 21 students
  • $10.1 billion funding to schools 2014
  • For every $1 spent by parents the government is spending $3.45

Five out of five children needs to be successful.


Dr Anthony S Muhammad, USA

Researched in 400 schools into transforming school culture and building powerful learning environment.

Life eligibility achievement requirement.
If he wanted to wake the next morning then he had to meet certain minimum standards.

Some children make poor decisions about wanting to learn, but they don’t know any better and they don’t know the ramifications of what they are doing.

How many of you were born into a home where you were valued and an education was valued?

The best case for public education has been that it is a common good. Everyone ultimately has as take in the calibre of schools …

Michael Fullan 2003

Big Idea 1

  • A focus on learning (human development)
  • Can all students learn?
  • Yes, given the right conditions, given enough time.
  • Are all students learning?
  • No.

Can these gaps be closed?

If there was to be equity, some people would have to give up feeling superior.
Inequality needs to be addressed.

How to close every achievement gap was known eleven years ago.

Need to look at every single student and say, how can we help that person do their best.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Albert Einstein

Technical and cultural change will be needed Technical – the non-human changes necessary I.e. we won’t change our processes because that the way we have always done it.

Cultural change refers to changing beliefs, attitudes, etc.

Has to be a balance between technical and cultural change.

Need high will and high skill. Educators high skilled, collaborative and flexible, every child’s needs. Every parent wants that for their child.

High will low skill zoom. Love children but at the expense of high academic expectations High Skill low will – sets high standards, and teachers take no or little responsibility.
Low skill low will. No care and no responsibility.

Muhammad’s focus is in the culture.
Toxic culture stops collaborative practice.
School culture is the set of norms values and beliefs, rituals and ceremonies symbols and stories that make up the ‘persona’ of the school. Deal and Peterson 2002

Great minds take complex ideas and simplify them.
Soil is important to the garden.

If we want growth and equality why have we focused on the seed and not the soil.

Healthy school culture

  • It is a place where the educators have an unwavering belief that all of their students have the ability to achieve success and they pass on that belief on to others in overt and covert ways.
  • Educators create policies and procedures and adopt practices that support their belief in the ability of every student Person 2002

Confidence is not a small thing, and is critical for success.

Shared Commitment
Belief in all students School goals guide behaviour. Me mentality to we mentality

Analyse data Confront brutal facts

Collaborative disciplined practices

Toxic School Culture
Educators believe that student success is based upon students level of concern , attentiveness, prior knowledge and willingness to comply with the Mandy’s of the school and they articulate that belief in overt and cover ways. Educators create policies and procedures and adopt practices that support those …
Peterson 2002

Whinging doesn’t make the problem go away

Good to great Jim Collins
Seek and confront the brutal facts
Get the right people on the bus in the right seats (this might be get everyone on the bus)

The bus is a metaphor for a technical change.

Adult drama
Dysfunctional social interaction between adult professionals within a school environment that interfere with the proper implementation

Identify important policies, practices and procedures that support the proper education of children.

Believers will do whatever it takes to get the job done
Tweezers in probation, don’t know whether to get on the bus or what to do within two years, can be disaffected
Fundamentalists. Goal is to serve the status quo wanting no change.
Survivors Person has been so disgruntled all they want to do is get to the end of the day

Role of the Board of Trustees is to set the vision for the future.

Iowa school board lighthouse study