For those concerned about the future of education in New Zealand, this has often been a strange year of waiting for the outcomes of multiple reviews. There are around 15 major reviews of education underway at present. There are bound to be some good ideas when the groups start to report over the next few months. But there are also important reasons not to expect too much. The Labour-led Government does not have the power of a large majority. Even the great move of repositioning the small number of charter schools has been fraught. Bold educational developments are unlikely in this term. The managerial culture that lingers at the Ministry of Education is another constraint. A few months ago I got asked onto one of the advisory groups but in typical rushed fashion, had to let the Ministry know within a few hours if I would participate. The terms of reference for the group – questionable! – were pre-determined and it was not clear who else would be on the group or why I was being invited. That experience told me that many of those involved in the reviews will have been flying blind. Once involved they get caught within
Across the country, teachers report that there are more children with high learning needs and the resources and funding to help these children are over-stretched. Education professionals talk here about how they deliver the curriculum to children with learning needs.