The 1993 survey on the impact of the education reforms found
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The study reported here follows up NZCER’s 1992 survey of the initial impact of the introduction of full bulk funding to Kindergartens which began in March that year.
The Ministry of Education began funding the Competent Children project in 1992. The first stage was a pilot study to try out the interviews, observations, and record-keeping for the main longitudinal study. Researchers observed 7 boys and 12 girls, aged between 4 and 5, in their early childhood education setting. The children did a series of tasks designed to evaluate their skills in a range of areas, and their parents or main caregivers were interviewed.
The end of the beginning
The material presented in this report comes from NZCER’s third annual survey of people’s experience at school level of the radical Tomorrow’s Schools reforms of educational administration, which began in 1989. Separate questionnaires were sent to principals, trustees, and teachers at 239 schools nationwide, and to parents at 226 of these schools in mind October 1991.
By 1991, the pace of reform had slowed, but high workloads continued. It was now clear that professionals could work well in partnership with parents on the new boards of trustees. Teaching salaries had been kept separate from operational grants, and pay was not performance-based. Teachers continued to work co-operatively and to enjoy good relations with trustees. But there was little sign of innovation in teaching and learning. Increasingly, resourcing depended on the economic circumstances of school communities.
This report aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the way the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms were felt at Primary and Intermediate school level in October – November 1990, eighteen months after board of trustees were first elected, and towards the end of the first year of school responsibility for managing and spending operational grants. Material for the report comes from postal surveys of trustees, principals and teachers at 239 schools across the country, and of parents at 26 of these schools.
This publication contains the papers from the third semi-annual NZCER conference on research into educational policy, Self-Managing Schools, held in Wellington, New Zealand, 28 June 1991.
The papers represent widely differing viewpoints on school self-management. Overall, "People from schools were not yet convinced that full bulk funding would solve their present problems of under-resourcing and workload, or allow better progress toward the goals of equal educational opportunity and improved learning outcomes" (p. 142).
In January 1989, Cathy Wylie developed the idea of an annual national survey over the next three years to see how primary and intermediate schools were faring through the radical changes to the administration of New Zealand's Schools, Tomorrow's Schools.
The first survey on the impact of the 1989 education reforms showed that they were greeted with both caution and interest. Before the reforms began, parental satisfaction was already high and most parents had some involvement in their child's school.
People in schools were working hard to introduce the reforms, but were often sceptical about their long-term effects. They were more interested in holding on to what they had than in making changes.