Principal's Blog - February 2018

Reading and watching the news each evening I am reminded of a quirky film from the 1990’s starring Bill Murray called “Groundhog Day”. In the film the main character is forced to relive the same events over and over again until eventually he learns to improve himself and the cycle is broken. My only hope watching the annual reruns of the media cycle is that there is a purpose to all this repetition in that eventually we will get it right and there will be a great step forward…an improvement. The cycle is broken.

I refer specifically to the national conversation on education. Except it isn’t really a conversation on education. Invariably it’s a conversation about money. When we talk of money we unvaryingly start talking about who is worthy and who is not. Now I am not naïve enough to suggest that this should not be major consideration when constructing and maintaining a system as crucial and complex as education. It’s just that, to be honest we have heard it all before. The same narrative, the same clichés, the same circular arguments, the same hand wringing and the same finger pointing. It is as inevitable as Easter Eggs appearing in the supermarkets before Easter and Christmas Muzak before Christmas. There will be the story about ‘private schools’ (whatever they are) and funding and value and worth. Oh and why aren’t we doing as well as Finland while we are at it?

The ‘takeaway’ from Groundhog Day is not that Murray was condemned to relive the same day over and over again. It was that in the end he learnt something and he improved himself. The new dawn was met with new found enthusiasm and he was a better man because of it. I hope that what passes for ‘educational debate’ has a purpose. That it’s not an end in itself but rather what emerges is a more productive, cooperative and savvy way of doing things. Oh, and by the way…that’s how we beat Finland…