No appetite for charter schools in south Auckland

Press Release – NZEI

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says contrary to claims by the Education Minister, principals in south Auckland have no appetite for charter schools.23 December 2011

No appetite for charter schools in south Auckland

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says contrary to claims by the Education Minister, principals in south Auckland have no appetite for charter schools.

Hekia Parata has said that principals and parents are queuing up for the first charter school, and that there is very high demand.

NZEI has spoken to 87 principals in south Auckland. The vast majority have said they are either concerned or very concerned about the prospect of charter schools, while only four said they could see some benefit.

NZEI President Ian Leckie says there are concerned on a number of fronts.

“Firstly they are suspicious about the government’s privatisation agenda for education, secondly they believe charters schools are unmandated coalition policy, and thirdly they feel that low decile communities are being unfairly targeted by government claims that charters schools are needed in areas where underachievement is what entrenched.”

“Some of these schools work harder than any others in the country to raise student achievement and there is no recognition of the effective programmes they already have in place. The problems of underachievement are complex and principals in south Auckland know that charter schools will do nothing to fix them”.

Mr Leckie says it’s important to remember that the people of south Auckland did not vote for charter schools and have not been asked whether they want to hand over their children’s education to private business where there is limited accountability.

NZEI says there is clearly a disconnect between what the Minister is saying and what people and educators in south Auckland are feeling.

“Perhaps the Minister should release some more details about exactly what these schools will look like and talk to those communities which will be affected by what represents a major shift change to the foundations of our public education system,” says Mr Leckie.

ENDS

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