Documents reveal Min of Ed doubts over charter school goals
2 October 2013, Immediate Release
Documents reveal Ministry of Education doubts over charter school goals
The Ministry of Education had serious doubts about whether one of the successful charter school operations will achieve its goal of a 1:15 student teacher ratio.
This comes as documents released show the extent of the Ministry of Education concerns about all five successful charter school candidates.
One of the successful applicants, the Villa Education Trust is noted by the Ministry as having “unreasonable expectations about funding” raising doubts about it achieving its 1:15 teacher student ratio.
The Trust plans to open a school in South Auckland catering for students from Years 7 through 10.
“We’ve been asking how the Villa Education Trust believes it can provide qualified teaching on a 1:15 qualified teacher student ratio when it is relying on the Government to fund its operation. And now it appears that even the Ministry of Education has been asking those same questions,” says NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter.
“The Government is clearly planning to spend way more money per student on privately run charter schools than it is prepared to put into providing quality public education for all students.
“Charter schools will be an expensive use of taxpayer money and will require a great deal of ongoing support from the Ministry.
“It is obvious that the Government is determined to push through this model despite all the evidence that charter schools will cost a great deal and will not improve children’s learning.
“This is yet another example of the double standards and inequity that the Government is introducing into our education system.”
The documents also reveal Ministry concerns that the Villa Education Trust, which currently runs a private school in Remuera, does not know the South Auckland community and has had minimal experience with priority learners – Maori/Pasifika, special needs and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.
At the same time there is no need for schools to record “student churn” so there is potential to weed out difficult students or those that won’t measure up against National Standards.