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Education Council CoL Leadership Forum Challenges Some Prevailing Leadership Views

June 10 2016

Around 150 leaders from Communities of Learning across New Zealand gathered in Wellington today to start a national conversation about leadership excellence in the teaching profession.

The event, the first in the Education Council’s Leadership 2016 series, brought together leading international and national speakers to examine how to lead in a 21st century learning system.

Professor Linda Darling –Hammond, of the Learning Policy Institute in the USA, kicked off a conversation on redesigning our learning systems for all, with the Council’s deputy chair Anthony Mackay.

This was followed by a panel discussion with eminent academics Sir Mason Durie, Professor Jane Gilbert, Professor Jan Robertson, Derek Wenmoth and Dr Linda Bendikson.

Education Council chair Barbara Ala’alatoa says the day put a stake in the ground for CoL leadership.

“Lots came out of this day – challenging paradigms, being brave – challenging old ways of doing things. We certainly challenged ourselves. But one of the main outcomes of the day was the need to view leadership differently. Boundaries don’t matter anymore. Parents and kids aren’t constrained by the school boundary nor should we, as leaders, be.

“We are a powerful profession – there has never been a more exciting time to be an educator. We are doing something we believe is a world first initiative. The day was galvanising, and we have set ourselves lots of challenges.”

Education Council chief executive, Dr Graham Stoop says the Council aims to enable and facilitate improvement, innovation and change in current education leadership.

“But in saying that we acknowledge all that has come before us. We aren’t simply a blank slate – we have a solid legacy to work from.

“Our Leadership Series 2016 will support, engage and inspire leaders in Communities of Learning to share, collaborate and develop leadership practices that make a positive difference to the lives of young learners.

“We encourage those interested in developing leadership to watch this space.”

A series of 10 regional fora starts in Napier on June 22. For more information about the Education Council’s CoL Leadership Series go to