Click here for the PDF: How school leadership rose to the challenge
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused significant disruption to schools in New Zealand, with principals and school leaders taking on a lot of responsibility. The Education Review Office interviewed principals and board chairs and surveyed 1777 principals across the country from May through to September 2020 to understand how they have responded.
It is clear from this research that school leaders have gone above and beyond to meet students’ needs and the needs of their whānau. The evidence shows that they have:
There have been significant challenges for school leaders to overcome. This short research excerpt shares the key findings and examples of good practice of how school leadership has responded across New Zealand to Covid-19.
“Our caretaker dropped off desks and chairs to students that requested them with the tractor all around our village.” – Teacher
“In terms of leadership, the greatest challenge was how to make really good decisions for everyone… managing everyone’s needs. Wellness, being kind and caring were a focus.” – Principal
"I think we were very fortunate with our board. We were all there supporting each other, and all decisions were collective decisions." – Principal
“Everyone is sitting on my shoulders so I can't afford to fall over or everyone falls over.” – Principal
This summary is an early release from this research. ERO will release the full findings from its Learning in a Covid-19 World research programme early in the new year. This will include the impact Covid-19 has had on students, teachers and principals and the practical actions school leaders can take in 2021 to support students, whānau, and teachers with the ongoing challenges of Covid-19.