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The Tomorrow’s Schools Taskforce report (Part 1 of 4): the lack of debate

8 Feb 2019

This piece begins a four-part series about the Tomorrow’s Schools Review Taskforce report released in December 2018 reviewing the administrative arrangements for New Zealand schooling over the last three decades. The Tomorrow’s Schools Taskforce has conducted the core review of a series of some 15 reviews across the education sector, and whatever results from the Tomorrow’s Schools report will likely have very significant implications for policy and practice in Aotearoa New Zealand in years to come.

We are already half way through the consultation period following the report’s release, and we are concerned that there won’t be much depth of response before the closing date on April 7. We base this concern on the lack of public discussion we have seen in the media, in staffrooms, and in other settings where, traditionally, educational proposals have been hotly debated. Given the scale of changes recommended in the report – with Taskforce chair Bali Haque calling for ‘transformational change’ of the structure of our schooling system, and arguing that ‘tinkering with the system … won’t work’ – careful and critical feedback from a broad cross-section of NZers is essential.

In this post, we consider the reasons for the lack of debate we (and others) have observed thus far, and seek to highlight why this consultation matters so much. In the three posts that follow, we then hope to provide some resources, questions, and observations to help stimulate more debate over the remainder of the consultation period.

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