Strength comes from collective voice, conference hears

The importance of principals working together to make positive change in public education and resist irrelevant accountability processes was covered in the opening session of Federation’s Principals’ Conference today.

New Zealand Educational Institute immediate past president Louise Green outlined how professional voice is a critical component of quality public education.

She told how the union went to parents and the media to build resistance to a government proposal for a funding model that would lead to the cutting of staff in schools.

As a consequence of the union’s strength, the union earned representation at the design table as the government considers funding changes.

“Collectively we are stronger,” Ms Green said.Federation President Maurie Mulheron outlined a long list of burdensome tasks that distract principals from teaching and learning.

Mr Mulheron said principals’ massive workload was affecting their health and urged them to talk to other principals and their staff to keep providing evidence to the union so the profession can respond collectively.

Conference workshops during the day included social media; students with disability; supporting and leading staff wellbeing; and managing stressful were among the issues discussed at workshops.

In the final session, Federation Vice President Denis Fitzgerald spoke about the work of principals and the new NSW Educational Standards Authority