15 Nov 2016

Education Ministry bureaucracy stymies literacy project

From Nine To Noon, 9:29 am on 15 November 2016

Kathryn Ryan talks to the founder of the Shine Literacy Project, educationalist and author Joy Allcock, who says she has missed out on funding from the Education Ministry due to out-of-control bureaucracy. Kathryn also speaks to Massey University Educational Psychology Professor James Chapman has evaluated the programme and says it benefits Pasifika and Maori children in particular.

Statement from the Ministry's Karl Le Quesne, acting head of early learning and student achievement

Really good professional development is one of the most important things a school can do to improve the quality of teaching and learning, so we’re putting a lot of work into improving it. The changes we’re making are in response to calls from schools and teachers to have much more choice  in who provides them with PLD. Under the new system, we’ve set up a panel entirely made up of principals, teachers and other educationalists to accredit PLD facilitators.That panel of educationalists decides who is accredited to work with schools. The Ministry isn’t represented on that panel. The process of accreditation is very thorough, and we think it needs to be. The aim is to provide assurance to schools that every facilitator has met quality standards. If they want to provide centrally funded PLD they must also be an approved provider. The provider contracting process ensures that a range of other professional and legal requirements are met.  Applicants do have to provide documentation that they meet all those standards , and it is quite a bit of work for applicants. But we think it’s important to get it right.Once providers are accredited, schools can pick any PLD facilitator they wish to work with. So far the independent accreditation panel has accredited 86 per cent of initial applicants. Those who have been unsuccessful, including Ms Allcock, get feedback that will help them resubmit their application. They can reapply right away. We do want to make sure that our processes work for everyone, so we value any feedback that will help to improve our processes. 

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