Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education to speak at our APPA breakfast

Make sure you’re booked in for the APPA 31 October Principals Breakfast at Alexandra Park. Minister Hipkins has accepted our invitation to speak to us.

There will be an opportunity for questions, so please join us. Book though APPA website.

APPA Conference 2018

The APPA conference in Taupo 16 and 17 August was a wonderful opportunity to talk with friends, colleagues, presenters and sponsors about leadership and education and the things on top for us.

After reading the programme – without my glasses on – I was astonished to see that Roger Moore would be speaking after lunch. This seemed odd as I had thought he had passed away last year. I searched my memory but decided it must have been ‘fake news’ and started to look forward to hearing him speak.

I had visons of 007, a man of action; fighting for the rights of others, a problem solver and a solutions-based leader.  In fact we even had a lunchtime debate at our table about who might be the next James Bond, each of us determined to ‘sell’ their choice to the other. So, you can imagine my surprise when Roger Moses, Ex-Principal of Wellington College, stood up to speak.

Roger spoke of the leadership challenges he faced within society that landed in the ever-changing landscape of school. Issues that tested his leadership skills and decisions. Issues created by problems outside of school but brought through the school doors and expected to be solved there.

Roger talked about how we need to be ‘open to learning’ leaders who grow from the many situations we find ourselves in. That through these situations we develop an incredible store of effective leadership skills that enable us to seek positive outcomes and encourage us to put into action creative solutions. He said that leaders must seek help from others they trust and respect and through the support of these people we make better, well informed and  positive decisions.

His navigation of and description of his leadership journey and the solutions he put into action made me wish I had known him before our James Bond discussion. I would have definitely put his name forward.

Debbie Mayo-Smith’s session on reducing workplace stress and boosting productivity made me realise my current limitations with IT and my need to spend specific learning time on my devices to actually save myself time. Many of you IT/ Digital-guns already knew a lot of the ‘stuff’ I learnt at this session but “WOW” became my new catch phrase.

Martin Sneddon reminded us of the power of team work and making sure our visions are shared, understood and transformed into practical actions. His description of the leadership of the Rugby World Cup held in New Zealand in 2011 was mind boggling. To ensure the event promoted New Zealand to the world and presented a spectacular and top-notch competition was about driving his vision across this country. Leadership at its best!

Now, Joan Baker!

Think and act concisely. Act with intent and purpose. Eat the Frog.

Joan provided us with some really direct messages about leadership. One of our key roles is to grow ourselves and others to get the schools we want. This means leadership at every level so that in the end you make yourself almost irrelevant in many of the decisions and actions throughout the day. ‘Thinking and acting concisely’ was one of the many dual partner skills she expanded on as examples of the purposeful leadership we need to demonstrate in order to be effective leaders. Take time to think through the vision you have for the school, take time to plan how it will be put in to action and focus your actions on what is important to be able to achieve this. Then DO IT.

Joan’s ‘Acting with intent and purpose’ focused leaders on being deliberate with actions. Making sure the efforts put into the day are with the things that matter. It’s not about ‘proving’ you can do something but making sure that whatever you do ‘improves’ things in our schools. Effective leaders work really hard on self-improvement and then model it. They learn from everything and everyone they encounter. They demonstrate learning agility. She asked us to think of ourselves as the chief energy officer- ensuring our energy energized others.

‘Eat the frog’ was about ensuring we eliminate the things that are limiting growth. The ‘frog’ can be systems, processes, misunderstandings or people. First determine what the frog is that is stifling growth and act with intent and purpose to get rid of it. There are times as leaders we need to step up and make a hard call but more often than not it is this ‘brave’ act of ‘eating the frog’ that sets really positive growth in action.

Tapasā: Cultural Competencies Framework for Teachers of Pacific Learners

The new framework of cultural competencies for Teachers of Pacific Learners is now online. The ‘soft’ launch of this amazing document saddened me, however there was also a launch of the document scheduled for last Friday at Otahuhu Primary.

What support will there be for schools to ensure this document has real value in the learning for our Pacific learners? Let’s have a look and get onto our Education Advisors for support to get this document working in schools.

We know that successful learning for our Pacific students is founded on their languages, cultures, identities and values. It builds on what we know to be effective curriculum and pedagogy in the different cultural contexts that our learners from the Pacific Islands identify.

The Pasifika Education Plan (still current until a the new one is out) explains the importance of connecting and responding to the identities, languages, and cultures of each Pacific group in schools. Values such as respect, service, leadership, family, belonging, and relationships are important within Pacific cultures.

Get ahead of the move and look at this supporting document. Contact the Ministry and ask for help to implement it. If we all work together we’ll continue to grow great Pacific Island learners in our schools



The catastrophic staffing situation in Auckland schools is continuing. Going on the data collected by NZEI recently it’s clear things are not getting any better. Are we masking the problem by being problem solvers and making things look like it’s working? My concern is with student learning. What kind of learning is happening if 5 year old students are having 3 – 4+ different teachers in a week?

APPA are working in a variety of work groups voicing our Region’s needs and ensuring any decisions have our Auckland Schools issues at the forefront of decisions. Much of the work is centred around staffing, property and funding as these remain top of the list priorities. I have included information that we are able to share with you.

Education Workforce Strategy Group

Minutes from the Maori Medium Education Workforce Strategy Governance Group Workshop (held in Wellington 22 August)

The Minister of Education has tasked the Ministry and the Sector with developing a future-focused, learner-centred Education Workforce Strategy, which will transform the learning delivery system and support learners in the early learning, primary and secondary education in both Māori medium and English-medium settings.

The first Education Workforce Strategy Governance Group workshop was held in Wellington on 22 August 2018 and had a focus on Māori medium. The purpose of the day was to establish a collective vision for Māori medium education; to begin to develop a pathway; and to identify the outcomes and values that will underpin this mahi.

Ideas gleamed from the session was that future education workforce should:

  • operate in a system that enables Māori to succeed as Māori, whether they are in Māori medium education settings or not,
  • operate in an education system that provides improved pathways into Māori medium,
  • facilitate team based learning,
  • value community relationships,
  • enable whanau and community to participate in learning and contribute their skills and knowledge, and
  • be bilingual.

The tangata who provide learning to our tamariki and rangatahi are not just kaiako – we’ll need to draw on the skills and expertise of our whānau and communities to deliver the learning as and when it is needed.  This means we’ll need to design a system that recognises and values those skills and expertise.

A draft vision for Māori medium was developed:

‘Ka tū te tamariki hei raukura mō tōna whānau me tōna iwi.

Learners and children will be the very best they can be for their whānau and iwi.

Ko kōmako ko kōmako, ko te hau tapu e rite ki te kai nā Matariki, tapa reireia koia tapa, tapa konunua koina tukua.

Māori medium learners thrive in a Māori medium context that is served by the people and systems that we need, when we need them.