Monday 6 July 2009

Another Successful NZPF Conference

The annual NZPF conference finished in absolute style with the best conference dinner I've been to. Pre-dinner drinks, a great singer over entrees and mains with the band firing up as we all got into desserts. Wife and I sat with an Australian group who were typical of NZ Principal's we meet throughout the week - friendly and engaging.

I listened to the Minister address the conference Friday morning during which she reiterated overall Government aims - including the topical National Standards policy. My take on the latter re-asserts my frustration of the SMS vendors being left on the sideline while Ministry officials discuss how National Standards are to be implemented. It is very clear to me that a number of the NZPF concerns can be alleviated by leveraging the schools Student Management System rather than some central collection point in Wellington - of which the latter concept generates concerns over how the data will be used. By engaging the vendors early on to understand what deficiencies and possibilities there are we could feasible have the back of this thing broken (from an administration perspective) for the start of 2010. It is going to be a big job for some schools to implement the changes without the problem of potentially not have the administrative side ready. Despite the frustration, MUSAC and Agents have already mocked up a number of documents in ClassRoom Manager based on the material released for consultation.

Back to food. I was most heartened that the conference dinner was so very good so as to leave the visitors with a positive Palmy experience - particularly after a couple of below par experiences earlier in the week. On the Thursday evening the MUSAC green shirts joined a group of Principal's on a cafe crawl. I mentioned in a previous post that Palmy has good cafes - well on Thursday night we were not up to the mark in 2 out of 3 that we visited. The organisers had pre-booked and there were really no excuses. Thankfully we got it right in the last. Well done Bethany's!

Already looking forward to NZPF in Queenstown 2010.

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