Why Hipkins should study the formula for a London state school’s remarkable academic success

If Education Minister Chris Hipkins is overcome by an urge to join his cabinet colleagues in overseas travel but doesn’t have a good reason, we suggest he visits a state school in one of London’s poorest boroughs.

Forty-one of this school’s students have been offered a place at Oxford and Cambridge this year.

This rivals the admission rates of some of the top-performing private schools across the UK, according to the BBC

Brampton Manor is a state school in Newham in east London.

Nearly all of the students who received Oxbridge offers are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds; two-thirds will be the first in their families to attend university.

Half of them are on free school meals.  Continue reading “Why Hipkins should study the formula for a London state school’s remarkable academic success”

Advertisements

The reports are coming in – and they bring fresh challenges for the Ardern Govt

Finance   Minister   Grant  Robertson  has had a  good run this  year, with the  economy performing  well  and the  government’s books   in excellent  shape.

Despite   ministers  splashing  out  cash  in  every direction, the half-year  economic and   fiscal  update  (out this week)   may even  offer   the Finance  Minister  scope  for a  bit  more  spending  in  the years  ahead, without  endangering   his  self-imposed   goal of   sustainable surpluses .

But  a shadow may be  beginning  to emerge  from this  apparently  cloudless  sky.  It  lies  in  the  reports   from  all  those reviews  the  government   called  for   in  its  first  months  of  office. Continue reading “The reports are coming in – and they bring fresh challenges for the Ardern Govt”

The case for filling public service leadership posts with women – then let’s look at the All Blacks

More than 50% of chief executives in public service departments for the first time are women, the Government proudly proclaimed this week.

Seventeen of the 33 public service department chief executive posts are filled by women, including acting roles.  That’s 52%, up from 14, or 44%, at 30 June 2018.

“This is an outstanding achievement,” Chris Hipkins said.

Hipkins, Minister of State Services, then noted that in addition to meeting this milestone, more women CEs

” … have been appointed to larger jobs.

“Their average job size has increased by 15% since 2016 and the job size gap with their male colleagues has narrowed to 6%, compared with a 27% gap in 2016.” Continue reading “The case for filling public service leadership posts with women – then let’s look at the All Blacks”

Teachers want ‘crisis’ resolved – then exacerbate it with their intransigence

The political “kindness and empathy” which the  Ardern coalition government  has  patented as  its trademark  doesn’t  seem to be  making  much headway  with the  teachers’ union.  Which is  ironic  in  many  ways.

Latest  reports say  primary  and intermediate teachers and  principals  have  “overwhelmingly”  rejected  the government’s  latest  pay offer , on the grounds, it’s said, it will not fix  the industry’s  staffing “crisis”.

About 30,000 New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa (NZIE) union members voted on what was the third round of offers, in a secret online ballot.  NZIE president Lynda Stuart said the message from members was that the offers did not do enough to fix the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.

“The big concern for members was that the offers had nothing that would give teachers more time to teach or principals time to lead.” Continue reading “Teachers want ‘crisis’ resolved – then exacerbate it with their intransigence”

After expelling the charter schools, Hipkins is pressed to do better on teachers’ pay

So who  do you feel  sorry for:  primary school  teachers  who  say they are  undervalued, underpaid  and  overworked?

Or Education Minister  Chris Hipkins, who is  “disappointed”  teachers are  going  on  strike, despite the government’s “strong new offer”.

Political aficionados might find some irony  in the  whole  affair. Teachers   were   desperate  for  the Labour  Party to win the  Treasury benches,   knowing it    would be a relatively  soft touch  after  nine years  of  a flinty-faced  National government.

And  Hipkins  early  in  his term  sought to cosy   up  to the teachers’ union  by  bending to  their   demand  that charter  schools  be abolished.

Continue reading “After expelling the charter schools, Hipkins is pressed to do better on teachers’ pay”

$5bn surplus divided among 17,000 teachers – it’s not so simple when Robertson becomes involved

The looming teachers’ strike poses a real headache for the Ardern government. In throwing down the gauntlet to Education Minister Chris Hipkins, the teachers’ union has talked of a “crisis” in the schools, a desperate shortage of teachers, and of principals “in tears” with the stress of trying to ensure there is a teacher in every classroom.

Hipkins says he is disappointed, but not surprised, that primary teachers will strike again.

The government has raised its initial bid of an increased 2.2% to 2.6% a year to 3% a year over the next three years but the the gap between this and what the teachers are demanding remains wide. Continue reading “$5bn surplus divided among 17,000 teachers – it’s not so simple when Robertson becomes involved”

The de-Claring of more openness – Govt to release Cabinet papers (but with some exceptions)

The most open thing done by Clare Curran, the former Minister for Open Government, was resign, commentator Kate Hawkesby wryly observed in a newspaper column.

Indeed, Curran’s apparent fondness for clandestine meetings and her struggle to explain the extent of her use of a private email account for public business did bring her grasp of the open government portfolio into serious question.

The government’s understandable concern to show it does believe in transparency was reflected today in a decision announced by State Services Minister Chris Hipkins. Continue reading “The de-Claring of more openness – Govt to release Cabinet papers (but with some exceptions)”