Last week I met with my counterpart in Aorakinet to discuss the possible future of our clusters (and Westnet).  Without MOE funding their is danger that much of the momentum that we have gained may be lost.  There is also the vexing question of where to now?  Is it time for change.  Cantatech has been in existence since around 1994, but is it now time to start looking beyond the boundaries we have imposed on ourselves?  What about merging the South Island clusters into two so-called ‘Metaclusters’.  So Otagonet, Dunedinet, SILC form one cluster and Aorakinet, Cantatech and Westnet form another.  Within that framework three ePrincipals operate according to their skill sets, geography (for physical visits) and circumtance.  As the clusters slowly merge together these jobs may change condsiderably.

For me the biggest positive is ensuring sustainability – safety in numbers so to speak.  It also brings other opportunities:

  • The possibility for richer collaboration between senior leadership, teachers and students
  • Rationalising and broadening of the online programme
  • Greater opportunity to develop elearning across all staff – mainly because of a shared online environment which will allow more teachers to connect with each other

It also brings challenges – how do you maintain that personal touch and sense of community that currently exists?

For me this is a ‘go slow’ move.  I would love to see it happen, and I think it needs to, but it can’t be rushed.

We will see what the Principals think at the next meeting.


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