UPfront Taking exception

While I welcome discussion of educational leadership and management, and was delighted to see such an article in the magazine in March (Managing our Schools), I was dismayed at the negative approach taken by the writer and the photographer.
It would have been nice to have NZIM recognise the highly performing, effective principals the majority of our schools are led by. To see woebegone face under dunce’s hat marked “Not Achieving” is depressing, demeaning, and demoralising. Why would the NZIM want to portray principals like that? I take strong exception to the image, and especially to the “Not Achieving” label.
The article went on to mention “sub standard” education product which they “can’t effectively change”. Both of these assertions are absurd. By any measure we have world-class education system which is providing school students with up-to-date skills and knowledge in well-resourced classrooms taught by highly qualified, well-trained staff.
That schools can effectively change “the product they deliver” is fact, supported by evidence all over the country. The example of our school’s rise to high quality success over the last few years is but one.
I was disappointed not to find any mention of the principals who are members of NZIM, and have been for some time. I have found my membership of NZIM, the access to professional management reading, and opportunities to attend seminars and other professional development provided by NZIM, to be invaluable.
Contrary to the argument in the article, I have always enjoyed range of opportunities to improve my leadership and management skills, and do not believe it is the Ministry of Education’s responsibility to do this for me.
Maybe we can look forward to more positive article in the future.

Alison Annan
Principal
Cambridge High School

Management magazine is independently owned and published and its stories and editorial views are not necessarily those of NZIM. Profile Publishing takes responsibility for the content of the magazine – Ed.

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