Parata: Charter school decision best for kids

  • 25/07/2015
Education Minister Hekia Parata (Simon Wong)
Education Minister Hekia Parata (Simon Wong)

Students at a troubled Northland charter school face a bleak future if the school is allowed to close, says Education Minister Hekia Parata.

Te Pumanawa o te Wairua School was given a second chance yesterday after Ms Parata decided to keep it open for the rest of the year.

The decision came despite the findings of an audit report that the Whangaruru school was failing to meet several performance requirements.

Ms Parata said it was in the best interests of the school's 39 vulnerable students to keep it open.

The move has been criticised by Labour's education spokesman Chris Hipkins, who said it "defied belief" that the school had been kept open after a "catalogue of failure".

"These kids are failing in this school," he said.

"They're being robbed of their chance at an education. These kids deserve a chance at education.

"Shovelling more money at a school that is clearly failing isn't going to give them a fair shot at education."

But Ms Parata told the National Party's annual conference today the Government is investing more in the Whangaruru school because it wants the students to succeed.

"They will have a very bleak future if we don't try to give them some opportunity to be successful," she said.

"We are investing a little bit more in these 39 kids because we'd rather they got the chance to be successful here than to be in the youth justice sector or go early on to a benefit."

The school's performance will be audited again in October before Ms Parata decides whether it should stay open next year.

The school is one of the five first charter schools opened in 2014.

NZN