Iain Taylor, President of the New Zealand Principals' Federation (NZPF) said he was gobsmacked to have yet another
choice of school, 'Online Schools' turn up in the Education Act Update announcement.
'Online Schools were never mentioned in any of the documents prior to the call for submissions on the Update but
suddenly, yesterday, here they are!' said an astonished Taylor.
'It's ridiculous,' he said. 'The literature is bulging with studies showing the importance of social engagement and
building relationships with teachers and peers as precursors to successful learning, especially for struggling learners.
Employers are telling us kids need to be team builders, engaging and have a developed sense of civic and community
service and be creative and critical thinkers. How will they learn these skills shut away at the kitchen table with a
tablet?' he said.
Taylor says there has been no call from parents to have an 'online school' option. 'I can't see parents being overjoyed
at the idea of giving up their job to stay home and supervise their kids at 'Online School', he said.
The Education Act Update lists, amongst others, creative and critical thinking, good social skills and the ability to
form good relationships, participation in community life, and fulfilment of civic and social responsibilities as the
objectives of Education.
'It seems to me this whole process is just out of control,' said Taylor. 'The Act's objectives and introducing 'Online
Schools' are completely incompatible.'