Auckland rally to support retention of NZ charter schools

  • 11/02/2018
School exam
School exam. Photo credit: Getty

Supporters of charter schools are holding a public rally to show how much support there is for the model of schooling that the Labour-led government is abandoning.

Partnership schools are championed by ACT and leader David Seymour, who will attend the rally at Takutai Square in Auckland at 2.30pm Sunday. The rally will then make its way to Aotea Square.

On Thursday, Education Minister Chris Hipkins brought in a Bill repealing the legislation that allows for future charter schools.

He says it also allowed the 10 existing schools to continue to operate under their contracts, while options for their future are discussed on a case- by-case basis.

Mr Seymour says the Government is listening too much to teachers' unions.

"Partnership schools are working,” he said. “Over 1500 students attend the fledgling schools, most of which have had to turn students away, due to rapid growth.

“Struggling kids are having their lives turned around.".

Teacher unions say it’s a failed mode for schooling, while ACT says the schools raise student achievement levels.

The schools receive Government funding similar to state schools, but have the autonomy to determine their own curriculum, qualifications, teacher pay rates, school hours and terms.

The parent of one 16-year-old boy at Vanguard Military School in Auckland has written to politicians, saying the school has turned her son's life around.

He used to hate going to school, was borderline failing and his future looked poor, the parent said. Since attending Vanguard, his attendance rate was exceptional and he really enjoyed going to school.