Terms of reference for Karen Sewell
Ministerial Advisor Christchurch Education Renewal Programme
The Greater Christchurch Education Renewal programme was announced by the Minister of Education on 13 September 2012. The programme involved specific proposals to close 13 schools, merge 18 with one other school, close 5 schools in Aranui and establish a year 1 -13 campus, formally close two schools on Banks Peninsula but retain them as satellites of the Akaroa Area School.
The consultation process is well underway with each of the school communities and the majority of submissions are due on 7 December 2012. Following analysis the Ministry of Education will report with recommendations to the Minister of Education in February 2013, followed by preliminary decisions. Where a school opposes the preliminary decision it will have a further 28 days to make any further submissions, consistent with statute. Decisions on the majority of proposals are expected to be finalised in early April 2013.
As part of the consultation process the Minister of Education has undertaken school visits to listen to the issues, concerns and ideas of the school community.
The Minister of Education considers recent visits to affected schools have built a platform for on-going engagement during and following the statutory consultation process. The Minister considered that additional support is needed to maintain constructive relationships with all involved in the consultation/decision making process and to maintain the momentum created by her direct engagement with schools.
For that reason this role is being established to provide both the Minister and the Secretary for Education with advice and feedback from the schools and communities involved in the Education Renewal programme.
The role of Ministerial Advisor will operate similar to an “envoy” or “champion” to support the public engagement in the programme already underway. The Ministerial Advisor will ensure that the public has confidence that their issues and ideas are being directly heard by the Minister and appropriately responded to.
The specific responsibilities for this role are:
- advise the Minister of Education and the Secretary for Education on the Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Programme and the Learning Community Clusters with a specific focus on achieving the best outcome for learners;
- act as a conduit between the community of Christchurch and the Minister of Education to maintain the constructive relationship established through direct engagement by the Minister and assist with maintaining public confidence in the process;
- provide independent advice to the Minister of Education on each school’s proposals to inform the statutory decision-making process;
- listen to community concerns and aspirations with regards to the Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Programme and raise these where necessary with the Minister of Education and the Secretary for Education; and
- provide advice to the Minister of Education and the Secretary for Education on any other matters that arise in relation to the Greater Education Renewal Programme.
Timeframe for the Role
The Ministerial Advisor will be employed until December 2013 with a review at 30 June 2013.
The Ministerial Advisor will report directly to the Minister of Education.
Relationship to Roles in the Ministry of Education
The Ministerial Advisor will be supported by the Ministry of Education in Christchurch.
Key relationships within the Ministry of Education will be:
- Secretary for Education
- Deputy Secretary Regional Operations
- Director Christchurch Education Renewal Programme
Other Key Relationships
The Ministerial Advisor will develop relationships with key parties associated with the Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Programme. This will include but not be limited to the schools, boards of trustees, representative bodies and unions, and the Advisory Boards.
Nature of Employment
The Ministerial Advisor will be employed on a Contract for Services to the Secretary for Education.