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Vanguard Military School announcement provides certainty

Vanguard Military School announcement provides much needed certainty and security for students and parents.

New and third option for Charter Schools emerges from Vanguard announcement.

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins announced today that he had approved the Vanguard Military School application to establish a Designated Character (State) School. E Tipu e Rea Chief Executive Graeme Osborne considered that ‘the decision taken by Vanguard rightfully placed their students’ needs first which according to the Regulatory Impact Statement and the Minister’s Cabinet Paper the Minister’s decision to close Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua (Charter Schools) did not. Vanguard Military School has delivered stand-out success as a Charter School. Although as a State School they will be denied access to the same ‘enablers of success’ provided to Charter Schools, their determination to provide high quality educational opportunities to low decile students will stand them in good stead and add value to the state system offering’.

Osborne held the view that ‘Vanguard CEO Nick Hyde and his Board had no choice, they were working with only two options: close and stay closed, or close and apply to establish a new State School.

Although E Tipu e Rea Chief Executive Graeme Osborne was full of praise for Vanguard’s application being approved by the Minister, he repeated his concern that the Charter School model was being dumped by the Government in the total absence of consultation, in denial of student success, and pointed to what seemed to be the late introduction of a third and previously unannounced option for existing Charter Schools in the Ministers statement. Minister Hipkins media release made it clear that a new third option was available to Charter Schools when he said ‘… the school won’t continue to operate as a charter school beyond this year unless this is mutually agreed’. While Osborne welcomed the news, he questioned the appropriateness and timing of this announcement given that the same option was clearly not available to Vanguard Military School.

Osborne also pointed to Minister Hipkins announcement relating to Vanguard as confirming that he was “considering additional measures to support charter schools to make a successful transition into the state system, and details are currently being worked through." Although welcoming of any effort to facilitate a ‘successful transition into the state system’ Osborne expressed concern that the transition process from Charter School to State School was being managed and developed ‘on the run’ and ‘in a rush’, with, for example, ‘procurement risk’ coming from the possibility that late changes such as this should have been factored into the state school application process.’


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