The Staffing Summit

July 15-16

The Secondary Principals Council of Aotearoa is hosting a Staffing Summit in Wellington on July 15-16 this year for secondary, area, kura a iwi and Kura Kaupapa Māori school principals.

The summit will be held at Rydges Hotel, Featherston Street. It will commence on July 15 at 10:30am and finish on July 16 by 4pm.

The purpose of the summit is to consider current staffing needs in our schools and to advance a more effective, needs-based, staffing model for our sector.

The summit will cover:

  • Presentation of recent research
  • Curriculum needs
  • Distance and blended learning
  • Equity of provision
  • Supporting learners
  • Pastoral care and wellbeing
  • School collaboration
  • Designing a needs-based staffing model

The provisional programme for the summit can be viewed here.

There is no cost for registration, travel, or accommodation for PPTA member principals who wish to attend.

Please note numbers are limited to the first 80 registered.

Attendees might find the following article from PPTA advisory officer Rob Willetts a valuable read:
Class size, average class size, and pupil-teacher ratio; truth, lies and government statistics

Keynote speaker

Peter Blatchford, Emeritus Professor in Psychology and Education, UCL Institute of Education

Peter will argue that much debate and research is misguided because of the narrow focus on student attainment and because it is not concerned with what actually happens in classrooms, particularly how class size affects teaching and teachers. He will draw on many years’ experience researching class size effects, and on work for his recent book Rethinking Class Size, co-authored with Tony Russell. 

Rethinking Class Size is available as a free download from from UCL Press.

You can learn more about Peter and his work here.

To register for the Staffing Summit:

PPTA members click here

Non-members click here

You can have input into the summit by attending, by completing the staffing needs survey, and by being a case study school (see below).

Case studies for the Staffing Summit

An independent researcher is being employed to undertake case study work in a representative sample of schools to identify the gaps between resourcing and need in our sector. This will involve having the researcher in school for a day during term 2. The case studies can be anonymised if you wish and will be presented at the summit. 

If you would like to be part of the case study exercise, please contact Kate Gainsford at chairperson@spc.org.nz

Keynote speaker: Peter Blatchford

Peter Blatchford is Emeritus Professor in Psychology and Education at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education. He directed the large-scale five year Deployment and impact of support staff in schools (DISS) project funded by the English and Welsh Governments, which was voted one of the 40 most influential educational research project of the last 40 years by the British Educational Research Association. He co-directed the follow up Effective Deployment of Teaching Assistants (EDTA), Making a Statement (MAST) and Special Educational Needs in Secondary Education (SENSE) projects.

He has also directed two other large-scale funded projects – a programme of research on the educational effects of class size differences and pupil adult ratios (CSPAR), and an ESRC funded programme of research on collaborative group work (SPRinG) and grouping practices in schools.

His research has led to a number of publications including the books ‘The Child at School: Interactions with Teachers and Pupils’ (Blatchford, Pellegrini and Baines, Routledge, 2016); ‘Reassessing the Impact of Teaching Assistants’ (Blatchford, Russell and Webster, Routledge, 2013), ‘Class Size: Eastern and Western Perspectives’ (Eds: Blatchford, Chan, Galton, Lai and Lee) and ‘Rethinking Class Size: The Complex Story of Impact on Teaching and Learning’ (Blatchford and Russell, 2020).

He has recently completed a Leverhulme funded international network on 'Class Size and Effective Teaching' and a Nuffield funded survey of school breaktimes and pupil social lives in primary and secondary schools. He is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. He recently completed a three year Leverhulme funded Major Research Fellowship.

Rethinking Class Size: The Complex Story of Impact on Teaching and Learning

Long standing arguments about class size are as strongly worded as ever. Much of the debate has been couched in terms of the connection between class size and pupil academic attainment. On one side, teachers and voices representing practitioners argue that large classes are a real problem, while on the other side, policy reports and some researchers argue that class size is not important. 

In this presentation Peter Blatchford argues that much debate and research is misguided because of the narrow focus on student attainment and because it is not concerned with what actually happens in classrooms, particularly how class size affects teaching and teachers.

Drawing on many years’ experience researching class size effects, and on work for his recent book ‘Rethinking Class Size’, co-authored with Tony Russell, he seeks to answer two important questions: 1. Why is there this disparity between practitioner and policy view? 2. Why has research failed to find clear, negative effects of large class sizes?

Peter argues that answers to these questions will go a long way to a more realistic understanding of the effect of class size differences, as well as guidance on how to make the most of small and large classes.

Last modified on Wednesday, 9 June 2021 11:41