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It's all systems go! Time to start chipping away at that massive task list we all face at this time of the year. It's tough and a time when principals can run themselves ragged. Don't let that happen!! Make sure you keep a work/life balance in your run down to year end. When things do get manic, just stop and close your eyes. Visualise yourself shutting the school gates, waving goodbye to the last student and sprinting to the beach, tossing the picnic provisions under the big shady pohutukawa, and flopping into the glistening waters of any one of your favourite bays or beaches!!
It certainly hasn't been the most relaxing week if you live in the upper South Island or lower North, with the unwelcome arrival of the 7.8 earthquake. To all those schools in Kaikoura and surrounds our thoughts are focussed on you. And to the Principal of Waiau School, Mary Kimber, massive accolades to you. The nation watched you on national television immediately after the earthquake and could not have been more impressed by the way you handled the situation and just got on with showing real leadership not just to your school but to your local community. You made us all feel so proud!
At times like this, you can't be in a better country than New Zealand. The generosity of our schools in supporting each other when the chips are down is second to none. It happened when Canterbury had its devastating earthquake and it is happening again now . Schools are asking us who they can send the proceeds of their fundraising efforts to, to help the schools in Kaikoura and surrounding areas affected by this destructive and isolating earthquake. We suggest that you send any fundraised money directly to the Marlborough Principals' Association who have set up a special bank account just for this purpose. The bank account details are:
Marlborough Schools Principals Association
ASB - Blenheim
Please make sure that you indicate the name of your school when you are making donations!
Our thanks to Gaylene Beattie, Principal of Springlands School and President of the Marlborough Principals' Association for setting this up to support our colleagues in Kaikoura, Ward and Seddon whose schools are all affected by the quake.
Here at national office in the Wellington CBD our issues are insignificant compared to yours in Kaikoura. We all watched with relief to see the army arriving to bring much needed provisions but realise you have a long haul ahead before normality resumes. I want to assure you that we are looking out for you and thinking of practical ways that we can support you from a distance.
On behalf of Barbara Bowen and Phil Palfrey, my thanks to all of you who took the time to respond to their special education survey. Perhaps the most astonishing finding is that 95% of you are providing special needs funding beyond your special education allowance. Under the section 'NZPF Notices' below you will find a section with a link to a summary of the survey results.
You all know about our Principal Leadership Advisory (PLA) Service. Extending it to become a system-wide service has been a major focus for NZPF for the past two years and I am delighted to tell you that we are now seeing the fruits of that hard out lobbying. The Ministry have called for potential contractors to submit their RFPs and last week they selected their preferred provider. NZPF was represented on the selection panel. We are now one more step closer to appointing 21 more PLAs to advise and support principals in 2017. The new PLAs will be appointed in the same way as the current four PLAs and will all be principals or recently retired principals. I hope that we can announce the preferred contractor and support them by advertising for the new PLA positions in our last Principal Matters
of the year. It is expected that the new PLAs will start their work in 2017.
Take care everybody!
Noho ora mai ra