Iain Taylor is intelligent, charismatic, gregarious, and a brilliant if sometimes showy communicator – there is also a quixotism and a sense of sometimes being too clever by half, meaning he can end up opposite to where many may have anticipated.
But that, in a way, is his business, the executive’s, and principals’.
My task as a writer is to assess if he is going to be another fiddler and government patsy or take a strong stand on fundamental issues.
He says he first has to identify what the important issues are and where to make efforts to make the greatest difference.
Iain says: NZPF represents the interests of you all, and works to raise the capacity of our entire profession so that every principal can deliver a quality public education! To do this we must engage positively and purposefully; robustly and honestly with the Ministry of Education and the Minister. We are a stakeholder in this education world, as are they, and we must communicate with them meaningfully, and as effectively as we can, even when we disagree with their position! We must hold to our own values, and ethics and have a good grasp of what we see as the ‘big picture’. That is what will give us the endurance, stamina and vision to complete our work with determination and focus.
What does this mean? Why not plain speaking on identified key issues?
Iain refers to schools being a stakeholder: Where Iain can I find that stake being held by schools? I see schools more as baggage carriers.
There were all those years when Phillip Harding and I battled it out: he saying the kind of twaddle you are saying – then he left the executive and he wrote one of the most powerful and incisive articles imaginable on the deteriorating state of primary education. My suggestion Iain is you refer to that article and grow your policy from there.
My overall prediction: much grand talk, a bit of a conniver behind the scenes with Hekia and Peter, the end result a fiddler though perhaps falling short of being a patsy.
This little message of cheer is, of course, to contribute to what I hope is a case of proving myself wrong.