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Principal unveils plan to boost pupil success

Aug 28th, 2009 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

EducationForumDavis-ColleyAOTEA College principal Tim Davies-Colley wants to trial a new system to encourage students from lower socio-economic backgrounds to spend longer at school.

Mr Davis-Colley (right) announced the idea at an education forum at Porirua’s Te Rauparaha Arena that looked at ways to increase student achievement.

His plan would see students spend more time at school each day so they can have access to assistance, internet, computers and other learning resources they might not have at home.

“If we are serious about bridging the achievement gap – which I think is the biggest issue we have in New Zealand in terms of education – then we somehow need to better support low socio-economic parents and communities,” he told about 50 people from the education sector.

More attention and resources also need to be directed to the two major human development stages (ages 0-3 and 10-16), because that is when people experience the most change, he said.

The Porirua Education Forum sees representatives from all levels of education discuss and address issues facing schools in Porirua.

The latest one – hosted by Whitireia Community Polytechnic – was attended by the Minister of Education, Anne Tolley, who announced new plans by the Government to boost trades education.

EducationForumAitkenPrincipals from Bishop Viard, Porirua and Mana Colleges spoke about what they are doing and what they feel is needed to lift achievement.

Bishop Viard principal Hedley Aitken (left) said his students have benefited from a number of scholarships offered by tertiary providers.

“For many, this offer has overcome financial and attitudinal difficulties about their confidence to undertake such studies,” he said.

“Moreover, some others see their friends take up these scholarships and they too develop the confidence and aspirations.”

EducationForumSusanne JungersenDeans and heads of department have also received one day’s training in careers guidance: “It hardly makes them experts in careers guidance, but it has made a big difference.”

Mr Aitken said secondary schools also needed to teach key skills and character traits that enable students to reach their full potential.

Porirua principal Susanne Jungersen (left) said more emphasis on education is needed rather than training, because it provides people with adaptable skills like flexibility and problem solving.

EducationForumWebster“You might become trained to do a job or to be good in a certain context, but that does not promote the things that we need in today’s changing circumstances,” she said.

Mana principal Mike Webster (left) believes secondary schools and tertiary providers need to work together to ensure student needs are met.

His college is utilising tutors and resources from Whitireia Community Polytechnic.

Govt announces plans for trades education

TolleyThe Government plans to establish a number of trades academies and New Zealand’s first tertiary high school, Anne Tolley told the forum.

The initiatives are part of the Government’s plans to ensure more young New Zealanders gain recognised qualifications.

Trades academies will be based on partnerships between schools, tertiary providers, industry training organisations and employers.

The Government has received 113 proposals for such academies and has asked 11 of them to draft business plans.

“Included amongst them is some truly innovative proposals,” she said.

“It is so rewarding to see that when we issue the challenge for better and more responsive education for New Zealand, the sector itself can come up with such fantastic ideas.

“In some cases they don’t need a lot of money. They just need to be enabled to let the schools and institutions get on with what they want to do.”

She announced that New Zealand’s first tertiary high school will be established at Auckland’s Manukau Institute of Technology in 2010.

It will provide study opportunities for those Year 11-13 students who are unlikely to succeed in a secondary school environment, but who are motivated to succeed at tertiary level.

The project between MIT and contributing secondary schools has been under way for some time.


PORIRUA EDUCATION FORUM: From left - Whitireia Community Polytechnic chief operating officer Arthur Graves, chair Dennis Sharman, CEO Don Campbell and Education Minister Anne Tolley.

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is a graduate from Whitireia Journalism School. He is as well rounded as a beachball, with his interests including rugby, sport, politics, business, tertiary education, social issues, sticking up for the little guy, investigative journalism, cooking, music, shooting the breeze, telling jokes and having a laugh. After a short stint as a general news hound at the Kapiti Observer, he now works for Rugby News in Auckland.
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