Network On Net has an explosive post detailing the bullying attacks on Principals who disagreed with Anne Tolley – particularly over the controversial National Standards.
What is incontrovertible is that unpleasant things happened, indeed, are still happening to certain principals, seeming to involve Whale Oil, editorial offices of newspapers, the ministry, and the education review office. The connection between these groups is supported by some evidence but more is needed for definite conclusions to be made.
A number of the principals on the ‘hit list’ (my designation) to whom I spoke said, that given the speed with which some emails hit Whale Oil’s site, they were certain their computers had been broken into. In 2011, for instance, Pat Newman set a trap to confirm his suspicions, sending an email to six people he knew, who would under no circumstances pass information on to Whale Oil – and Whale Oil was on to it in a flash. As well, readers will be aware that Whale Oil (who else would it have been?), sent a false email with a false IP, under the name of Marlene Campbell, to the Comments section of my site. I suspect, to later send a comment that would cause her damage.
As for the ministry and Whale Oil, there was an interesting convergence between Whale Oil and the ministry to do with Brent Godfery and Pembroke School, August, 2011. A fono on the education of Samoan children was taken away from Brent’s school (would you believe?) because of the school’s opposition to national standards. Whale Oil was on to it immediately in brutal fashion; but so was an ominous follow-up from the ministry. A pattern was about to unfold.
Pembroke had a commissioner landed on it. Brent and the board of trustees had already confirmed that with their protest stand against national standards made, they would now unreservedly comply with the regulations. But to no avail, years of unrelenting ministerial vindictiveness, financial cost, and disruption to the education of children followed. Even when the commissioner concerned said that all was good, it always had been, of course, the ministry refused to move.
The purpose of such state bullying was to cast a pall of fear over New Zealand primary schools.
The link was now established – get criticised by Whale Oil, and constructive dismissal, resignation would follow, or commissioners called in.
Some of Whale Oil’s attacks on principals were prefaced with the disclosure that the information that formed the basis for the attacks came from the tipline – the tipline was a euphemism on Whale Oil’s site, a bit of an in-joke, for information provided by the government.
But it’s worth reading all of it.
Meanwhile in the UK the Tory/Liberal coalition have introduced free hot school meals for all kids 4-7 in UK schools. If they can do it, why can’t we? We guarantee our kids some good nutrition and aren’t hungry and can learn, and it’s way more efficient than all those parents making lunches each night…