Assignment One for my Masters in Māori and Indigenous Leadership

Identify a recent media story* that in some way engages with Māori and/or Indigenous leadership. Discuss how that story displays elements of Māori leadership, as well as contemporary challenges to the nature and attributes of leadership that are needed within our communities at this time.

My first year as a primary school principal was in 2010. I was an optimistic 29 years old who was absolutely clueless about the complexities of leadership. During that time, the Ministry of Education had invested heavily into creating The First Time Principals Programme (FTPP). The programme would educate new principals in the “leadership practices that have the greatest impact on student outcomes” (Robinson et al., 2009).

The FTPP conference gathered over 200 first time principals from across Aotearoa. Conference speakers included the Minister for Education the Honorable Anne Tolley, Alice Apryll Parata noted principal, and Dr Vivianne Robinson, co-author of the Best Evidence Synthesis [BES] – School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Identifying What Works and Why. The speakers shared the same key message, Māori were disproportionately represented in the long tail of student underachievement. We, as school leadership, were the key to changing the statistics and we needed to do better for our Māori students.

A defining moment for me occurred as Apryll Parata spoke about Māori drop-out rates in schools. My neighbour (a middle-aged Pākehā woman) leaned over and asked “Well, what worked for you?” I replied, “Nothing, I dropped out too”. I remember her look of shock and non-comprehension as she responded “Oh, I thought you would have been one of the ones that did well at school.” I pretended not to hear her as I wondered if I was classed as a member of the long tail. I looked up at Parata, before casting my eyes wide and surveyed the 95% non-Māori new principals sitting in that room, and thought… “Well nothing’s going to get any better from this room while we (Māori) are excluded from the supposed solution”.

A heartbreaking revelation to have so early in my career. The combined potential influence in that room could have made a critical positive difference in the achievement and well-being of thousands of Māori students (Robinson et al., 2009). Yet less than half a dozen of the attendees knew what it was like to be Māori in a school in Aotearoa. My experiences there left me with the feeling that Māori Educational Leadership is not valued as an effective resource to challenge disproportionate underachievement in our schools. All the more frustrating when the Ministry of Education’s own literature specifically referred to Māori Educational Leaders as change agents capable of challenging existing power structures and becoming strong advocates for Māori students in their schools (Robinson et al., 2009).

As I look back, I wonder what kind of effect could have been achieved if even half of those first time principals had been Māori like me. This thought saddens me. Not once, since my pale inauguration into the world of principalship, have I seen evidence that the Ministry of Education has acknowledged the imbalance of non-Māori leadership versus Māori leadership in our schools today.

While the article I have chosen is not specifically situated within the education space, it is a tale of leadership, founded within Te Ao Māori. It spoke to me as it perfectly illustrated the potential for positive change which was lost in that room back in 2010. It answers the question; what would happen if Māori were empowered to lead as Māori, while facing the contemporary challenges found within today’s society?

The article from The Spinoff, entitled The story behind the fight to save Ihumātao is a retrospective interview by Justin Latif (2020) with Qiane Matata-Sipu. Matata-Sipu and her group of local cousins stopped a housing project, due to be developed on land stolen from the local indigenous community in 1865. Their efforts as Māori leaders restored that land, Ihumātoa to tangata whenua in 2021 (Latif, 2020).

Latif (2020) provides the reader with intimate insight into Matata-Sipu and her cousins’ development into a uniquely Māori style of leadership. Through their leadership, the Save Our Unique Landscape campaign (S.O.U.L) would grow to include thousands of members globally and lead to the occupation of Ihumātao. Historians, archaeologists, and academics, both Māori and non-Māori, supported the cause that would take the group to the United Nations, twice (Latif, 2020).

To understand how Matata-Sipu and her five cousins came to lead this group, it is important to understand the epistemology of Māori Leadership. In his paper, Māori Leadership in Governance, Professor Hirini Mead (2006) synthesises and modernises two lists of eight traditional leadership qualities by Te Rangikahake of Ngati Rangiwewehi, Te Arawa and Himiona Tikitu of Ngati Awa. He refers to these qualities as The Eight Talents for Today or Pumanawa (Mead et al., 2006).

The Eight Talents for Today:

    1. Manage, mediate and settle disputes to uphold the unity of the group.
    2. Ensure every member of the group is provided base needs and ensures their growth.
    3. Bravery and courage to uphold the rights of hapū and the iwi.
    4. Leading the community forward, improving its economic base and its mana.
    5. Need for a wider vision and a more general education than is required for every day matters.
    6. Value manaakitanga.
    7. Lead and successfully complete big projects.
    8. Know the traditions and culture of their people, and the wider community (p.10 ). (Katene, 2010, p.11)

Mead (1997) states that Māori Leadership must not only lie within one’s whakapapa, but also in the mandate given to them by the leader’s people. Matata-Sipu grew up on the pā at the feet of her grandparents surrounded by political conversations and governance decisions her grandparents made for her hapū (Latif, 2020). Through whakapapa and Mead’s (2006) pumanawa, Matata-Sipu and her cousins created a leadership network which gained the mandate to lead their people. The alliance they formed around S.O.U.L, became the key to creating momentum in the outside world. The leadership partnerships they formed strengthened their campaign to its eventual acknowledgement and concessions by The Crown (Latif, 2020).

In Latif’s article, each of the pumanawa organically appears as Matata-Sipu recollects the story of Ihumātoa and the networked leadership roles each of her cousins took upon themselves. We experience first hand the cousins’ growth into the mantle of leadership until we reach the climax of the occupation, the attempted eviction of the rightful owners of the stolen lands. The uniqueness and power of Māori Leadership can be seen in Matata-Sipu’s recollection of the day the New Zealand Police came to evict them.

“It was really emotional. Everyone was so upset, and as the sun set behind the police, I just fucking cried my eyes out. I was thinking about all the kids, and what they had to see and then also thinking about our grandparents, and all they had done for this place. I was mourning for everything we had lost over generations, for our tūpuna, for our whenua.
“And I thought about my grandfather and how he wouldn’t have let this happen, and as I looked at the sunset, and the maunga, and my nieces singing, I cried out to my tūpuna, saying to them, ‘we need you to be here right now, if we ever needed you – we need you right now’.”
And in that moment Matata-Sipu found the strength she needed. (Latif, 2020)

Crisis surrounded Matata-Sipu and her cousins. It was from that moment and her connection with her tīpuna that she was able to find the courage and commitment to succeed. The article When Leadership Spells Danger, Heifetz and Linsky (2004) discusses the contemporary theory of leadership which forms around to two different types of leadership challenges – technical challenges and adaptive challenges (Heifetz & Linsky, 2004).

Technical challenges prescribe to the common misconception that the sole requirement of leadership is expertise to resolve the problems we face, not unlike a mechanic fixing a car (Heifetz & Linsky, 2004, p.35). Technical challenges are an easy managerial fix, they involve seeing a simple problem such as a gap in communication and a simple fix such as forming a Facebook group to reach a global audience. In fact, the entire campaign for Ihumātoa was founded via a clear and concise Facebook post written by Matata-Sipu in 2015 (Latif, 2020).

The challenge which Matata-Sipu faced as she stood in defiance of the police eviction was anything but a simple technical fix. The incredibly complex problems Matata-Sipu and her cousins beheld that day were born out of the same colonising tools the crown had designed to subjugate Māori since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 (Walker, 2016). The tools which allowed the theft of mana whenua and subsequent vilification of Matata-Sipu and S.O.U.L for fighting for return of that mana whenua (Muru-Lanning, 2020) are the same tools which are still manipulated by those in power “to maintain an unjust social order between Māori and Pakeha” (Walker, 2016, p.20).

Heifetz and Linsky (2004) call these kinds of incredibly complex problems adaptive challenges. Adaptive challenges often involve leadership living up to their convictions; “to closing the gap between their espoused values and their actual behaviour” (Heifetz & Linsky, 2004, p.33). What we see in Latif’s article is that Matata-Sipu and her cousins understood instinctively that the “solutions to adaptive challenges lie not in technical answers, but rather in people themselves” (Heifetz & Linsky, 2004, p.35).

Colonisation and its effect on the lives of Māori through multiple generations has been compounded by successive systemically racist government policies which have created a problem so complicated that the adaptive leadership capabilities needed to solve them seem almost insurmountable (Walker, 2016). Since the 1960 Hunn Report on Māori Affairs, subsequent investigations have frequently found that the gaps between Māori and European health, education, wealth, employment and economic development have all deteriorated (Walker, 2016).

Yet within the story of Ihumātao we see contemporary Māori Leadership force one of Aotearoa’s largest listed companies (Fletcher Building, n.d.) to backing off from their lucrative deal, and a once resistant government buying out that building giant. In fact, Matata-Sipu and her cousins are just one iteration of Māori Leadership successfully counteracting the colonial tools of subjugation created by the crown (Walker, 2016). Sir Apirana Ngata, Sir Peter Buck, Dame Whina Cooper, Ranginui Walker, Sir Mason Durie, Sir Tipene O’Regan, Hanna O’Regan and Dame Tariana Turia to name just a few are all incredibly successful people, facing complicated, adaptive challenges, and meeting those challenges using Mead’s (2006) eight pumanawa.

I have been a primary school principal for twelve years now a Leading Principal according to the career structure in my collective agreement. Last week I attended the Whakatane Principals’ Association meeting. Not all 25 members were in attendance, but it was my pleasure to help welcome the fifth Māori member to our association. I am still the minority Māori in the room.

Twelve years on from my conference nothing has changed for Māori. According to Education Counts 2019 data shows that over a third of Māori students are leaving school without Level Two NCEA. Retention rates for Māori are 12% behind the total number of students at 69.6%. In Term Two 2020 attendance rates for Māori dropped to 47.5%, while COVID-19 is a factor which should not be discounted, it is still 21.2% behind European students.

Schools are still not serving the needs of Māori students despite the millions of dollars spent on Māori achievement strategies in schools over the last 16 years. The 2013 – 2017 Māori Education Strategy Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success (Ka Hikitia) focused on teaching the teachers how to support Māori students to enjoy and achieve educational success as Māori (The Māori Education Strategy, 2013).
Ka Hikitia has five guiding principles. One of which states the following:

Māori students are more likely to achieve when they see themselves, and their experiences and knowledge reflected in teaching and learning. (The Māori Education Strategy, 2013, p.3)

Of the 61,000 teachers working in this country, only 7,403 identify as Māori. These strategies have not worked, and nor will they ever work because a non-Māori teacher, principal, educator will never understand what it is like to be Māori. Just like how that middle aged white woman could not comprehend that the first time principal seated next to her was a high school drop out. A non-Māori will never have the same connection to whakapapa nor understand that our connection to our tīpuna is not of the past but very much present in our now.

Further evidence of the positive effect of Māori students seeing themselves as normal in the classroom is provided in Dr Vivianne Robinson’s BES (2009) where she describes the challenges faced by educational leaders in tackling wide spread disparity amongst students:

A second challenge is to markedly improve educational provision for, and realise the potential of, Māori students. Recent national data suggest that Māori-medium schools are better serving Māori than English-medium … (Robinson et al., 2009, p.36)

Within this context it is important for the reader to know that the ethnicity of over 95% of Māori Medium teachers is Māori. Within Māori Medium schools Māori students see themselves as normal, and their normality as Māori reflected back at them through their teachers.

Until our tamariki can see that reflection surrounding them and nurturing them and staring right back at them kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) they will never enjoy and achieve educational success as Māori. This barrier has been created because 7,403 Māori teachers spread between 2,563 schools is only an average 2.8 teachers per school. That’s not many for the 200,000+ Māori students enrolled in 2020.

Matata-Sipu and her cousins changed the course of a multi-billion dollar company versus a tiny iwi south of Auckland in less than half the time that it took for all of our current Māori achievement strategies to fail. Matata-Sipu and her cousins proved that Māori Leadership that is deeply rooted in Te Ao Māori enabled them to be strong, connected and innovative, and ultimately to achieve success. Their ability to create a uniquely Māori network of leadership where responsibility was shared and talents strengthened by that network reinvigorates my own personal approach to leadership.

If the Ministry of Education was genuinely committed to its espoused values found within its own Māori Education Strategy (2013) then they must enact these values in its actual behaviour. The Ministry must follow the above clearly stated and well researched phenomenon of Māori Leadership. It can not continue to ignore the knowledge and evidence and refuse to act upon that evidence when forming policy. Our tamariki have been disadvantaged for far too long.

Heifetz, R. A., & Linsky, M. (2004, April). When Leadership Spells Danger. Educational Leadership, 61(Leading Tough Times), 33-37.

Walker, R. (2016) Reclaiming Māori Education. In Hutchings, J., & Lee-Morgan, J. (Eds.), Decolonisation in Aotearoa: Education, Research and Practice (pp. 19 – 39). NZCER Press.

Katene, S. (2010). Modelling Māori leadership: What makes for good leadership? MAI Review, 2010(2), 1 – 16.

Latif, J. (2020, December 18). The story behind the fight to save Ihumātao. The Spinoff.

The Māori Education Strategy. (2013). Summary of Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013 – 2017. The Ministry of Education.

Mead, H., (1997). Landmarks, bridges and visions: Aspects of Māori culture. Wellington: Victoria University Press.

Mead, H. M.,(2006). Hui Taumata Leadership in Governance Scoping Paper. Wellington: Victoria University. Retrieved March 5, 2021, from

Muru-Lanning, C. (2020, December 19). The truth about Ihumātao: All the false claims and misinformation, corrected. The Spinoff.

Robinson, V., Hohepa, M., & Lloyd, C. (2009). School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Identifying What Works and Why. The University of Auckland.

A Reply to Ian McKelvie, MP for Rangitikei

When Measuring Kids is More Important than Educating Them.

By Mārama Stewart, Principal of Waiouru School

Ian McKelvie’s Article in the Ruapehu Bulletin, 15th May 2018

A response to Ian McKelvie’s article “Measuring Kids’ Progress, or Not”, Ruapehu Bulletin – 15 May 2018

One of the perks of being a Member of Parliament, is that for some miraculous reason, most of the drivel you write for the media tends to become gospel. Furthermore, this ‘expertise’ doesn’t seem to require any qualifications or experience working in the profession you are commenting upon. As our local MP, ‘apparently’ you know it all. ‘Apparently’ you know even more than the 47 000 principals, teachers, and support staff that make up the membership of the Teachers’ Union (the New Zealand Educational Institute – NZEI).

I’ve been a bit busy lately and I’m afraid I didn’t get the chance to read our little local paper that week, well not until one of our teachers pointed out this article during our research project’s lead teachers conference.

You see we had been talking about the relief we are all feeling now that “Labour had dropped National Standards”. Gone was this ‘imperfect’ system which has been having a detrimental effect on all young New Zealanders over the last ten years. Then we see this article, Mr McKelvie’s opinion piece, Mr McKelvie’s comedy of errors.

We were seriously wondering if we had missed a calendar month or two and it was actually April 1st! His entire first paragraph seemed to come straight from Opposite Day – that day is actually celebrated on January 25th, so it could be that! Which one of our 47 000 Teacher Union Members did he actually speak with to form this opinion? Maybe he couldn’t find us, as a point of note for the future – you can find us with your children and grandchildren, your nieces and nephews, your best friend’s sons and daughters, and the kids down the road at your local in schools.

Our school is on Ruapehu Road in Waiouru if you want to come visit Mr McKelvie. At our school we will tell you that National Standards did not provide a “universal platform … to track a child’s progress”. Mr McKelvie, National Standards were not “universal”. They were not “easy” to use and did not “determine how a child was getting on at school”. They did not show progress or identify “when intervention was required or alternatively, when a child showed exceptional ability and needed extension”. Mr McKelvie, they did none of the things you asserted in your poorly informed opinion piece.

But then again, how would we know? We are not politicians who can magically turn opinion into fact. Why would we know that Mr McKelvie was wrong? Well probably because we the that have actually read the growing body of research and evidence that emphatically states that the National Standards were not good for our tamariki. In fact this school is has been part of a rigorous research project which shows that

Unfortunately for the 47 000 members of the Teachers Union, explaining why the National Standards system did not work does not fit neatly into a 60 second sound bite in the news, or an easily consumed half a dozen paragraphs in the local newspaper. You actually can not simplify Education into neat and tidy ‘standards’ that children will meet at specific points in time. It is a lifelong developmental journey which must encompass the whole child, their whanau, their culture and their place in their community.

But don’t just take my word for it, don’t ever just take what you read in the newspaper as gospel. Demand evidence that what you are reading is factually correct and come from experience, research, and evidence. So here is my evidence that Mr McKelvie is wrong. This is an extract from the Key Findings from the report “NZCER National Standards Report – National Standards in their Seventh Year” by Linda Bonne of the New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

  • Concern was evident about the negative effects on those students whose performance is labelled as ‘below’ or ‘well below’ a Standard and whose progress is not visible in terms of current reporting practices. To a lesser degree, there was also concern about students who perform well above a Standard not having their high achievement acknowledged, using the existing terminology of simply being ‘above’ a Standard.

    • National Standards seemed to have little to offer students with additional learning needs. Concern about the negative effects of labelling these students’ performance—often as ‘below’ or ‘well below’ National Standards over the long term—was particularly clear. Few agreed that National Standards help with the inclusion of students with additional learning needs. Some principals and trustees were concerned that including National Standards data for students with additional learning needs in their overall school data lowered their results, leading people to think the school was not performing as well as it was.

“Education is not a tool to be used to play petty politics”. It’s far too important to ignore the research, the evidence, and the 47 000 voices working everyday with our tamariki. To do that will have a detrimental effect on young New Zealanders as they chart the course of their future.

Blog Slacker, But a Busy Lady

I shall bullet point the growth in my life since my last blog post:

  • Completed my Modern Learning Curriculum course through CORE Education and loved it. Took tonnes of notes and have dragged my staff along for the ride.
  • Successful TLIF school, and now we are drawing to the end OMG. It’s been amazeballs.
  • Had a Principal Sabbatical and learnt a lot about the power of Te Whariki and ECE pedagogy – why are we not grabbing onto that train I say!!
  • Had a baby – Miss Ngāhuia – she’s one year old in two more sleeps. She’s delicious.
  • Was horribly ill the whole pregnancy – was about as much use to everyone as tits on a bull. But that’s done. NO more!
  • Went back to work, had to arrange an Au Pair at the last minute, learnt that two kids is not double but quadruple the work.
  • Sorted out myself and learnt how to be a working mum again.
  • And finally was accepted to the CORE Education, Advanced Leadership Programme – only 20 places nationwide!
  • Oh and committed myself to write a Leadership Journal – at least 15 minutes every day. This was my first one… done.
Offspring One
One and Two
Offspring Two

First TLIF Mini Conference – August 2016

I really need to catch up on a few posts, but to cut a long back story short … we WON!! Our Teacher Led Innovation Fund was successful. We are working with the amazing Keryn Davis, we’ve got $102 000.00 to burn over two years, and an amazing team to work with.

I will do a bit of back blogging later – we can pretend future posts are literary flash backs – but today I’m super psyched to tell you about today.

We began the day with a quick welcome by me and an invitation for us all to introduce ourselves and to share our own back story. I explained that the way we are as a teacher is shared by our own worldview and values within ourselves.

While I had been engaged in my CORE MLC course I have gotten into a conversation with Mary Milne about Leadership change practice – and that as a leader seeking to change practice in our teachers we must be very careful because changing a teacher’s practice is very much changing that teacher’s values and their sense of self – about changing the person.

So in order for us to journey together with the TLIF (which is all about researching into our own practice and changing it for the better) we must understand each other’s motivation for becoming the teacher we are today. asked each teacher to share their earliest memories of their experiences as learners, in ECE, in Primary, and in Secondary, then explain how these experiences as learners shaped them as the teachers they are today.

The stories which came out of this process were beautiful and surprising and I believe brought us together so quickly in an open and honest way. Many connections were made, lovely stories told, and surprising observations made about the power adults have over young learners.  This process covered the whole morning block right up to morning tea – and at moments throughout the day we would find ourselves referring back and making connections with the stories told during this time.

Keryn’s Research Vocab Explaination

After a delicious morning tea – Keryn ran an amazing session unpacking what ‘Research’ actually meant. She ran a brilliant activity talking about and explaining the terms and vocabulary around research. Qualitative vs Quantitative research; Rigour; Bias etc.  Throughout this process we had to build three statements around our TLIF – “Risks and Limitations”; “How we are going to work together.”; and “Ethics”. I won’t go too much more into it, but I will say that we were all leaning over the table eager to learn what she was explaining – she did it so very well (here’s a photo).

Keryn then led us through an activity about the tensions which raise when Curiosity turns into Critical Thinking – she used Jelly Beans. It was both delicious and thought provoking.

Then finally we started to build our story of us, and our innovation journey – how we got where we are.  I loved this part because it really honoured Māori Methodology – the need to look at the past, understand and celebrate the past, to value the past because this is what has made us.

I have kind of skipped through most of the day, but I am very aware that I am now part of a public research project and I must be careful with how I publicly reflect. Today was wonderful and every piece feed and grew the next piece of the day – I can’t wait until tomorrow.

Also I have to work out a way to get the rest of my staff involved as soon as possible!! Peace out.

Blowing Out The Cobwebs

Signed up and jumped in … CORE Online PLD Course here I come!!

Modern Learning Curriculum for anyone keen to know – link here

Leading future-focused curriculum development in your school

The thinking that goes behind a future-focused approach to curriculum is a key part of developing a full approach to modern learning. This programme will take you on a journey exploring ideas about curriculum and how it translates into classroom practice, including the implications for designing learning experiences for learners.

What you will learn:

  • How to design a curriculum that is truly future-focused and addresses the needs of all learners
  • How to empower others to reframe curriculum.
  • Ways to increase and enhance your networked learning opportunities.

I’ll blog my learning reflections as I go.  I’m really enjoying the learning method through Moodle, online hub-ness is good for me.  Really making the most of my personal Google Apps account and Apple Dual screen.  Tots would of been super handy back in my uni days.

I’ll share all of the videos and resources too so you can see them, and I won’t lose them when my access ends.

Have also stolen Nick Rate’s idea of ‘labels’ or ‘tagging’ my PTCs for my Performance Review or ‘Appraisal’.

Laters …

Just Go To Sleep Will Ya!

So I ready should just be going to bed, I’ve got a bit of a headache and a queasy tummy. My mind is buzzing. I have soooo much to do and for the first time in my life I think I am experiencing real work related stress, unfortunately “Marama Stress” induces insomnia … What’s up with that Brain?? No fair! You see some how I have ended up an idealist in a position of leadership, bugger me if that don’t cause stress I don’t know what does?!
Last week I attended my annual big week out at the uLearn12 conference in Auckland. I looooove uLearn, I always leave inspired and ready to up the anti in my classroom with my students and community. This time however, I now need to figure out how to infect our staff with my inspiration and vision (in a good way mind you, not a you will do this or else kinda way). Add to that I have five amazing initiatives I wish to implement (inspired by five of my amazing uLearn breakouts, promise I will blog about that later) and I have just realized that I need to delegate – I forgot to add perfectionist to idealist leader. I see this amazing big picture, now I need to train my scatter brain to plan and deal with the small puzzle pieces in order to engage our staff into a shared journal towards a cohesive vision (wow, sorry I’m rambling, tricky to compose on my iPhone). Anyway, I just thought I would try blogging about my “mind buzz” to help me beat the insomnia. I’m ok, I have amazing support from my super PLN, old friends, colleagues, a husband who politely nods when he has no idea what I’m talking about and an appraiser who’s worth his weight in gold, but some times I just need to vent – which brings up a point which has bothered me for a while now and has made me avoid blogging: As a teacher,
I blogged about my practice and classroom, as a sole charge principal I blogged about my practice and classroom. Now, as the Principal of a five teacher primary school, how do I blog about my leadership and management practice without invading the privacy of our staff …?

Stacey and I in our ULearn12 awesome dinner gears, go disco fever!!! Whoop, whoop!

First Time Principals’ Programme Presentation

This is my presentation for the FTPP April Residential Course 2012.  Click here to reach the information website and below is the presentation Prezi.  I would love any feedback added to the comments below 🙂

A Letter of Recommendation from my Board Chairman

The Magic Apple by Andrew Law (Chairman of the Board, Pukeokahu School)

There was a young teacher, I’ll call Harriet Potter
When she got an idea in her head nothing would stop her.
She had done all her research, she knew all her business
Harriet had a great big ginormous wish list
We need new computers, these old ones are stuffed
I done my very best but enough is enough
What sort do you want, asked the Board of Trustees
After all the moaning had brought them to their knees
Compaq, Asus, HP, Acer or Dell?
Harriet frowned, looked down and said, They all smell!
I need something special, magical classy
Something with style and cojones a brassy
A machine reliable and super dooper good
Saving money’s not an option, is that understood?
The one that I want is the magical Apple
It’s the one this school needs to snaffle
So the Board counted it’s pennies and doled out the cash
For the magical Apple to make a big splash
Harriet was pleased, she chuckled with glee
Now all I need is another three!
What! cried the Board.  This is not cricket
We seem to be playing on a sloping wicket
I need them, I need them, I need them, cried Mrs Potter
And once again, nothing would stop her.
More Apples were purchased, they are very good
Incredibly reliable the Board understood
Then came the sad day when the magic was gone
An Apple broke down.  What’s going on?
Did the Apple have a worm or coddlin moth
Harriet didn’t know, it had to be sent off
To the Apple workshop to have the magic restored
Meanwhile of course the kids were all bored
Cause school’s no fun without magic Apples to educate and amaze
Wistfully and sadly the Chairman looked back through the haze
To a time when all a school needed were paints, pencils, and paper you see
And Boards could afford to send Chairmen on trips to Fiji.

Andy wrote this for me last year and read it at our end of year celebration assembly.  I just had to share it because it is so good 🙂