Friday, October 08, 2004

Bit 'rich' blaming the Board of Trustees!

The Cambridge High School saga continues. The latest Education Review Office Report now places blame for what has happened onto the Board of Trustees.

When school get into trouble it is usually over the governance /management issue. The Board's role is one of governance and the principals one of managing the school to ensure the school policies are put into action and reported on. The Board, the Education Review Office report says, should have been aware of what was happening and should have had procedures in place to ensure that things were being done properly.

The reality is that principals have the real power over curriculum delivery and most Boards, if things appear to be going well, are only too happy to look after the other issues such as buildings, grounds and finance. Even the School Trustees Association admit that powerful principal can dominate boards.

I have always believed that there should be more community input into the real work of the school,the core values, what is taught and the basic teaching beliefs, within guidelines from the Ministry of Education of course. As it is, the curriculum is firmly controlled by the Ministry of Education.

With this in mind it seems unfair to place the blame on the shoulders of community volunteers, particularly as the school concerned was seen as a successful school. Even the previous reports from the Education Review Office contributed to the schools reputation. How came they didn't notice all the problems during their past visits - nor did other 'official' visitors.

The real blame for what has happened is because of the 'stand alone' model introduced under the Tomorrows Schools changes. Too many school have become, under the competitive ideology of market forces, 'look at me schools'! What is missing is some regional oversight to provide Boards with independent advice.

Time for a rethink of the system perhaps?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting idea Bruce