Kapi-Mana News : July 12th 2011
INSIDE SURVIVORS' TOLL One year on 2 HELP NEEDED Bus service under threat4 TICKLED PINK Pancakes for all 5 INDEX Letters ................................ 8 School holidays .............. 14 Cinemaddict ...................... 23 Talking Politics .................. 33 Weekly Workout ................. 34 Classified .......................... 39 Sport ................................ 40 CALL US Phone 04 237 8118 Fax 04 237 8552 Address Ground Floor BNZ Tower, Hartham Place, Porirua Email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org richard.gordon- @fairfaxnz.co.nz TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2011 PORIRUA CITY & TAWA www.kapimananews.co.nz Schools dig in on standards By KRIS DANDO Talk of commissioners and sanctions do not faze a group of Porirua school principals, who con- tinue to speak out against national standards. About 200 schools from across New Zealand, and 45 from the Wel- lington region, defiantly submitted school charters without reference to national standards before the July 1 cutoff. It is the first time a government has imposed a deadline, as schools normally have until the end of the school year to submit their charters. In Porirua, principals at Titahi Bay North, Holy Family and Corinna, among others, have been vocal in their resistance to the standards, which set uniform targets for primary and intermedi- ate students in reading, writing and maths. All three schools put in their charters earlier this year, without reference to national standards. There are a number of us who have signed up to BTAC [Boards Taking Action Coalition], which has a large number of schools in this region on board, Holy Family s Karl Vasau said. We don t like the way the gov- ernment is going about imple- menting them and sending through data in the way they want sends the wrong picture about the education a child is receiving. There s no way to measure value added and it can lead to a school being measured unfairly. The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa said last week the standards are fuzzy, confusing and hastily-developed and the issue over the charter s deadline is heavy-handed . NZEI president Ian Leckie said hundreds of schools are complying out of fear of having their boards sacked, but will stick to the trusted and evidence-based assessment data they have always used . Corinna principal Michele Whit- ing said the National Standards Sector Advisory Group, set up by Education Minister Anne Tolley last year, has recommended a review of the standards. We want to know is the Minister going to listen to that advice? She said many of the schools that do comply are not likely to be sub- mitting accurate data, a view backed up by Titahi Bay North principal Steven Caldwell. I know of schools who are going to give junk data to keep the min- istry happy, but it s not going to tell us where students are at. The assessment I m doing right now is reliable and I m in for a scrap against these standards. I m not against the concept but these are poorly thought out. I don t want our kids to be labelled as failures from five [years old], but this is what will happen. Mr Caldwell admitted ongoing discussions with the ministry over the issue had been difficult and he was happy to be part of the BTAC group. He felt right now there was a calm before a storm . Ms Tolley says underachieve- ment was being addressed through the standards and most schools she has spoken to are in support. The Ministry of Education says it has considered the charters of 1300 schools, and 87 per cent have included targets based on the standards. It has been widely reported that intervention is an option if schools do not implement them, with commissioners possibly used to ensure they are carried out. Special reviews from the Education Review Office and loss of access to teacher training could occur. All the principals Kapi-Mana News spoke to said, despite the debate and media attention, it is business as usual, with the success of their school s children at the heart of all they are doing. Some may review using national standards at year s end. Feeding needy new families Soul Food: Bellyful Porirua organisers Rebecca Morahan, left, and Tracie Lane, with piles of meals prepared for new mums in need. By KAROLINE TUCKEY Anew charity has begun help- ing put meals on the table for new mums in need in Porirua. Bellyful Porirua brings together teams of volunteers to cook family meals that are delivered to mums with newborns who need a helping hand. The team plans to run a Friday and a Saturday group cookathon each month, and successfully tackled their first on Friday at St Andrew s church in Plimmerton. Meal time can be one of the hardest times for mums with newborns, says one of the Porirua Bellyful area co-ordinators Rebecca Morahan, particularly if there are other children to care for, and even more so when things just aren t going well. Frankly, everything s over- whelming. You are sleep deprived, overwhelmed and feeling every- thing s too much and you ve still got to get food on the table. Sometimes you ve got no time and money and everything can grind to a halt. So, this is a bit of food, but it s also saying someone out there cares enough to do this. The charity describes itself as providing comfort food from mum to mum . It is intended for mums who don t have support networks available to help them cope when life becomes complicated, and will take referrals from midwives and Plunket nurses. The charity was started in Auck- landin2009byamumwhosawa need for it, and has been expanding through New Zealand since. The Porirua branch has a lot of work to do to establish itself, says fellow co-ordinator Tracie Lane, and right now they need all the help they can get -- especially volunteer helpers and donations of ingredients or money to buy ingredients. The team sticks to a set menu tried and tested in Auckland of macaroni cheese, spaghetti bologna- ise and lasagne, all tasty cheap meals volunteers can easily cook in bulk and kids will like. To get started the team has been fundraising by selling chocolate, holding a movie night at the Light House Cinema in Pauatahanui and a cake stall at the Porirua Market. New World Paremata has also helped by discounting ingredients for meals for the charity, Ms Lane says. We really appreciate the support of volunteers and sponsors, and we can t do the job without them, so we d love to have them on board in any capacity. Bellyful has also been included in a $5000 donation from the Mana branch of rebranded petrol station chain Z Energy. The donation will be divided between four local charities, accord- ing to customer votes. So from July 29, Bellyful needs your tick, Ms Morahan says, with voting carried out at the petrol stations.
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