The end of 2019 brings with it some closure on significant upheavals in education in New Zealand. The unfolding tragedy of March 15 saw teachers and leaders in Christchurch yet again selflessly put the safety and care of their young people above that of all else, and schools and centres across the country sensitively supporting their communities to respond and heal in the aftermath. Industrial action led to disruption, followed by some steps towards improvements in work conditions for teachers, principals and support staff.
The Tomorrow’s Schools taskforce created discussion and debate the length of the country, and eventually settled on the outcomes we will now focus on implementing into the system. The preparation for curriculum changes in digital technologies and teaching New Zealand history have taken significant time and resources for many teachers and leaders as they prepare to roll out in 2020.
For NZEALS’ Research and Publications department, 2019 has seen significant changes too. Our international journal, Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice, moved to an online platform, giving readers maximum access to the quality material available in this publication. As we go to press, both a special issue of JELPP that reflects on 30 years of the Tomorrow’s Schools policy and 2019’s regular edition are in production. With the launch of the new NZEALS website, Leading Lights is also now presented in a new format. Parts of the publication will be open for public viewing, while others are accessible to members only. NZEALS is very grateful to Mike Ogram, of Osprey Digital, for the significant vision, patience and expertise he has brought to the editorial team in delivering, what we hope you will agree, is a quality product in the educational leadership publications landscape.
In this issue of Leading Lights our Acting President Maggie Ogram also reflects on the changes that face education in New Zealand, and the strategic place that NZEALS aims to have in supporting leaders as they navigate those changes. The key platform for this in 2020 will be at the biennial conference, to be held in Hamilton in April. Ann Briggs has compiled information about our national and international keynote speakers and the conference strands, including one day with a specific early childhood sector line of inquiry. An article on practitioner research is well exemplified by John Armstrong’s sabbatical reflections, following his inspiring trip to Finland.
The NZEALS editorial board sincerely encourages members to contribute to its publications, as multiple voices and perspectives on leadership benefit us all. The team is available to support any aspiring contributors. Please share this publication link with colleagues, and as leaders ensure you are not ‘gatekeeping’ this opportunity in your organisation.
As a challenging and confronting year in education comes to a close, Leading Lights extends its very best wishes to our members and colleagues for a well deserved summer break, and looks forward to engaging with you further in 2020.
On behalf of the editorial board