Monday, April 19, 2010


The volcanic ash cloud hanging over Europe has at least one silver lining. Niece, Jenny, now back in London went to Kew Gardens yesterday with a group of friends. There were no planes overhead barrelling for Heathrow.

I recall going to Kew in early May 1994. The bluebells were in full bloom. The decidious trees had their new leaves. The translucent light filtering through them transformed the blue carpet into a magical place. Unfortunately the serenity of the view was not matched by the serenity of sound as plane after plane thundered overhead.

A headline in this morning's paper caught my eye. Teachers finally endorse NCEA it claimed. Reading the article revealed the principal’s federation president merely said that now the bugs have been ironed out it’s working well and most teachers endorse it.

When it was introduced successive ministers had been told it did not need extra resources nor trials. The advice was wrong. Ministers are also political creatures – they want things done in their term of office. Still I’m pleased it has now meet general acceptance.

It looks like we are in for a repeat performance with the national standards tests. Hasty implementation will be at a cost of good-will. I can see the education world in for a rough ride this winter with talks of strikes over salary claims and primary discontent over the Government’s proposals.

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