Napier, Hamilton get new charter schools

Napier, Hamilton get new charter schools

The Government has announced the latest additions to its charter schools line-up, with two new secondary schools opening their doors in Hamilton and Napier next year.

Both schools are targeting Māori students and students from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Te Kōpuku High, based in Hamilton, will be run by a well-known husband and wife duo in the Waikato area, Cath and Hemi Rau.

Mr Rau has been a representative on tribal boards across Tainui for many years, while his wife has a long history in the Māori world for literacy and numeracy.

The special character of the school will be late immersion Kaupapa Māori which would appeal to students who want to learn in te reo Māori having been schooled mainly in English.

Te Kōpuku High has developed its own unique curriculum framework based on the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

"Te Kōpuku High is a call to action and our mission is to ensure that our students are exceeding national standards and NCEA in pursuit of vocational pathways of their choosing," Ms Rau, the school's chairperson, said.

Tackling underachievement of Māori in NCEA will be a major focus for the new charter school.

Ms Rau says in 2015, 72.2 percent of Māori students in Hamilton secondary schools achieved NCEA 2 which lags behind many of their peers.

"National standards results for Māori in Hamilton City in 2015 are lower than the national average for Māori students in English medium schools.

"Te Kōpuku High will develop a generation of Māori learners with the self-belief that as Māori, they are capable of designing innovative, sustainable and successful futures, not just for themselves, but for their communities and the world."

Te Kōpuku High will be co-educational for years 7 to 13 with an opening roll of 90 students.

ACT leader David Seymour says the two will join the eight partnership schools already operating.

"The new sponsors submitted strong applications and we look forward to seeing this reflected in the learning outcomes of their students," he said.

The second school to be established in Napier will be a single-sex school for boys from years 11 to 13.

Te Aratika Academy will be Kaupapa Maōri vocationally focused.

The academy is the brainchild of a drilling firm - Te Aratika Drilling - which has provided cadetships for almost twenty years.

The academy’s visions is "amateur today, professional tomorrow".

"These new schools will help raise educational achievement, in particular for those groups of students who have not been successful in the mainstream schooling system," Mr Seymour says.

"I would like to acknowledge the hard work and advocacy of the Māori Party. Both new schools have Kaupapa Māori special character and this reflects the Māori community's embrace of the policy."