I will remember this year in education for… the change in government and formation of a three party coalition that wants the same positive things for early childhood education (ECE) in New Zealand. This year we have contributed to the refresh of the ECE curriculum, Te Whāriki. We look forward to seeing the benefits of the more inclusive curriculum flow into teaching practice over the next few years.
Our proudest achievement this year… has been receiving a perfect Category 1 rating from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority in our four-yearly external evaluation review. This is the second consecutive time we’ve achieved this rating and as a private training establishment, it’s a big deal as it places us firmly among the very best providers of Initial Teacher Education in New Zealand.
This means that the ECE services that employ our graduates can be confident of the high calibre of their new teachers.
I predict the biggest issue in the sector for 2018 will be… working through the detail associated with the move back to 100% qualified ECE teachers and the reversal of underfunding of the ECE sector.
Next year our priorities will be… to continue to nurture and train quality ECE teachers as well as strengthen professional development for current ECE teachers and leaders. We want to grow ECE sector capability so that our tamariki get a great start to their learning experience. We also want to give ECE a louder voice and ensure ECE interests are represented and heard when the government is making education policy decisions.