Principals concerned over open-plan classrooms

  • 19/10/2015
Sandy Pasley
Sandy Pasley

Principals from some of New Zealand's top schools are concerned about a $517 million Ministry of Education plan that will see open-plan classrooms rolled out across the country.

The 'innovative learning environments' include moveable walls and furniture, glass and breakout spaces but Sandy Pasley, president of the Secondary Principals' Association New Zealand, says principals are not convinced there is enough research behind the idea to back it up.

"The big barn-like spaces haven't been researched as to whether they improve achievement," she says.

"What principals are concerned about is the noise-factor, the focus, the [teachable] time when really students need to focus on what the teacher is saying."

All schools through the country will need to meet the ministry's requirements concerning the classrooms by 2021.

But Ms Pasley says schools are being left out of the loop in the decision-making process.

"I think the principals want to be involved, and certainly schools that are being refurbished or being built, the principal wants to be involved in the actual design."

Watch the video for the full interview with Sandy Pasley.