St Paul’s Collegiate School wins Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Award

St Paul’s Collegiate School in Hamilton has won a Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Award.

The award, ‘Excellence in Leading – Atakura Award’, celebrates leadership and influence that has strengthened professional capability and created a change in conditions, leading to improved and sustained outcomes for children and young people.

St Paul’s was an award finalist, from 129 entries, for their collaboration with primary sector businesses in devising an innovative and ground-breaking agribusiness programme for Year 12 and 13 students. This has resulted in the school leading change within the primary industries and education sectors.

The other finalists within this category were Glenavon School (Auckland), Kāiti School (Gisborne) and Flaxmere College (Hastings).

At a gala function held in the Beehive last night, the award was presented by Acting Prime Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters, Minister of Education Hon Chris Hipkins, Associate Ministers of Education Hon Jenny Salesa and Hon Tracey Martin and Associate Minister of Māori Education Hon Kelvin Davis.

“We are delighted with the national recognition for this incredibly exciting agribusiness initiative,” says Headmaster of St Paul’s Collegiate School, Mr Grant Lander.

“Over the past four and a half years, the school has worked closely with businesses in the primary sector to ensure the programme is relevant and engaging enough to attract quality young people to the huge number of opportunities available to them. It has shown what schools and businesses can achieve through collaborative practice,” says Mr Lander.

An Advisory Group was established to oversee the collaboration, which included representatives from the following organisations: DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, Gallagher, BNZ, Zoetis, NZ National Fieldays Society, AGMARDT, Greenlea Premier Meats, Waikato Milking Systems, AgrowQuip, Waitomo Petroleum, Campbell Tyson, Tetra Pak and Fairview Motors.

To ensure the programme also met the needs of all secondary schools in New Zealand, the Advisory Group brought together a range of schools as the Agribusiness Community of Learning (ACOL). Together with NZQA and the Ministry of Education, this programme is now available to be taught in all secondary schools in New Zealand.

“Taking the lead in this area has enabled the building of strong relationships with other educational institutions, and as a result has increased the opportunities for student learning and student success,” says St Paul’s Deputy Headmaster and Director of the Agribusiness programme, Mr Peter Hampton.

“It has been a complex process to implement a new curriculum for New Zealand schools,” says Mr Hampton, “but the end result has been stimulating and rewarding. This award reinforces the national significance of this programme.”

DairyNZ industry education facilitator Susan Stokes says the award reflects how successful the St Paul’s programme has been for both schools and the agricultural sector.

“This is a transformational initiative that encourages talented and capable secondary school students into agricultural careers and contributes to the future of the high-performing agri-sector,” says Ms Stokes.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Sector Capability Manager Doug Macredie says that the award recognises the hard work of St Paul’s as well as the importance of the programme to the agricultural sector.

“Our agricultural sector is experiencing some of the fastest change and biggest challenges it’s ever seen, and having students who can see a career path with us will position us well to thrive into the future,” says Mr Macredie.

For more information, visit the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards website: www.pmawards.education.govt.nz

Friday, July 6, 2018