Charter schools should be subject to full scrutiny

Press Release – NZEI

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says the government should not be allowed to push any legislation on charter schools through parliament, without a proper select committee process.6 December 2011 For Immediate Release

Charter schools should be subject to full parliamentary scrutiny

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says the government should not be allowed to push any legislation on charter schools through parliament, without a proper select committee process.

The government is allowing charter schools to be set up under its coalition deal with ACT, saying they will be trialed in south Auckland and Christchurch. The policy was not flagged by either party in the lead up to the election.

NZEI believes legislation will be needed around the funding and governance of charter schools as they represent a fundamental change to the spirit of the Education Act and the Tomorrow’s Schools philosophy of communities running their own schools.

NZEI President Ian Leckie says while the government clearly had detailed policy around charter schools ready to go, the public has been completely blindsided.

“Given that, it is only fair that the any moves to establish charter schools go through proper parliamentary processes so the public at least has a chance to make submissions and have the issues debated”.

“Charter schools represent a major shift in direction for New Zealand education and the government must not be allowed to simply pass legislation through the House under urgency, claiming it has a mandate to do so,” he says.

NZEI believes that if a select committee was to consider charter schools, it should sit in Christchurch and south Auckland, to hear directly from residents as to whether they want charter schools driving a wedge through their communities.

“There are some very big question around why New Zealand needs charter schools and why the government is so intent on pushing them. If the government and ACT are so wedded to the idea of charter schools, perhaps they should trial them in Epsom,” Mr Leckie says.

ENDS

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