Peter Zwart: McPhail Gibson & Zwart Limited

The Government has recently announced the settlement of the ongoing dispute between Idea Services and the Service and Food Workers Union over the payment of employees during sleepovers.  The Government has agreed to pay back-pay valued at 50% of actual and to move pay rates for those works to the minimum rate over the next few years.  The appeal to the Supreme Court will be withdrawn.

The effect of this on employers who use sleepovers is potentially significant. The Court of Appeal decision released in February this year will now be binding and any hopes for either Government intervention by way of amendment or a reversal in the Supreme Court are now lost. 



Grant Milne, Country Head, Marsh Limited                               

There is no doubt that the past few months in the insurance industry have been the most challenging for some time. Independent schools based in Canterbury will have an acute appreciation for the life changing event which happened on 22 February, now more than six months ago.

The insurance industry in New Zealand is now going through a fundamental shift and it has been well publicised that it has become very challenging for businesses to secure property and business interruption insurance.

The New Zealand insurance market is however, on a global scale, a small marketplace. Due to this, and the requirement for insurers to protect their portfolios against large catastrophe losses, all locally represented insurance companies arrange significant reinsurance programmes in respect of natural catastrophes.

Traditionally the June/July period in the insurance industry provides a good benchmark for what we can expect from the insurance market for the coming year, however due to recent events 2011 is looking to be quite different.

What does this all mean?


From a Set Menu to Smorgasbord: Jane Lapthorn and Jill Pears

Selwyn House is an independent girls’ primary school with an attached preschool for boys and girls. We are authorized to teach the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) influences our middle school.  In our preschool our programme is built around the philosophies of both Reggio Emilia and PYP.

Our students fall into the group known as Millennials who are eager to share their dreams on social networking sites and use technology for reading, writing and many other aspects of their lives.  They want to be engaged!  Rapidly evolving technology and the new Web 2.0 tools have made information and sharing an everyday part of our school culture.  We need to ensure that students develop the critical thinking skills necessary to make sense of the tools and information available to them.

We have moved from a set menu to a smorgasbord where a wide array of tools and strategies are available to scaffold children’s learning and nurture their curiosity. Inquiry learning is central to our school day and it is about giving the students a greater understanding of the world in which they live, learn, communicate, and work. We want our students to develop the skills to be problem solvers, collaborators, critical thinkers, creative and innovative and leaders.  


Bill Daniels: Executive Director: Independent Schools Council Australia (ISCA)

For 40 years, the non-government schools sector in Australia has had stable funding arrangements, allowing parents to make choices about their own child’s education.  But the future funding of the independent schools sector is looking somewhat less certain.

We now work in an environment driven by the Gillard governments’ transparency agenda, and part of this has been the development and implementation of the My School website.  With transparency comes the expectation that information being released is accurate and truly comparable.

The My School website is the corner stone of the Australian Government’s transparency agenda and the second incarnation My School 2.0 went live on 4 March 2011.  The publication of both student performance and financial information on this site has polarized the schools community. However, for the independent schools sector, transparency about financial resources is generally considered a positive move – in the hope that one day, the bias against a few top end high fee schools will stop being felt by the whole sector.

But transparency does come with associated risks – for everyone.

Read more…


Close to 100 Kristin School students, parents and staff attended the Auckland-wide AMI Showdown Awards 2011 on 5 October, held at the Bruce Mason Centre.