Universities to sponsor charter schools

  • 27/11/2015
ACT leader David Seymour (File)
ACT leader David Seymour (File)

Universities will be able to sponsor charter schools under proposed law changes and the ACT Party says the move will deliver "huge opportunities" for teaching and learning.

It's an important change to the rules around charter schools and it's part of a bill introduced on Thursday by Education Minister Hekia Parata.

The Education Amendment Bill also allows schools to change their opening hours and permits principals to manage more than one school.

At present charter schools - the government calls them partnership schools - can be run by community organisations, business groups or churches.

They're funded by the government but can set their own curriculum and term times, and don't have to hire registered teachers.

They are an ACT initiative, and party leader David Seymour is welcoming the move to allow tertiary institutions to sponsor them.

"This is paving the way for unprecedented innovation, allowing New Zealand's highest learning institutions to apply their resources and expertise to second and primary age students," he said on Friday.

"The bill comes off the back of a successful partnership school application round which saw 26 applications from across the country."

So far nine charter schools have been set up.

That rationale for them is that they can tailor their teaching to help students who are failing in the state system.

Labour and the teacher unions detest charter schools and accuse the government of privatising education.