Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Ombudsman attacks lack of Charter School accountability

Acting Education Spokesperson

13 February 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Ombudsman attacks lack of Charter School accountability

There is no justification for making Charter Schools less accountable than every other school in New Zealand, Labour’s acting Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, this morning appeared before the Education Select Committee, and was highly critical of the Government’s decision to exempt Charter Schools from the Official Information Act and from the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.

“The Ombudsmen argue that a lack of accountability undermines the requirement for schools to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for children. And that potentially breaches New Zealand’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Those are completely valid concerns.

“The National Government insists that making Charter Schools subject to review by ERO is a sufficient safeguard. But the Ombudsman pointed out this morning that ERO were aware of many of the factors that led to systemic sexualised violence at one school, yet it was only thanks to the oversight of the Ombudsmen that the full facts of the case came to light.

“Under current legislation, Charter Schools could also use suspension and stand-down procedures to circumvent their requirement to accept all students, regardless of background or ability, and the absence of independent oversight could make that problem even worse.

“The National Government has repeatedly demonstrated a total lack of respect for constitutional conventions around openness and transparency. Excluding Charter Schools from the most basic oversight mechanisms we currently have, is yet another example of that.

“New Zealand doesn’t need Charter Schools. There is no clear evidence to show they produce better outcomes, they’re little more than an ideologically-driven experiment. It’s no wonder the National government are trying to side-step public scrutiny of their operations,” Chris Hipkins says.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Climate Talks, Immigration And Housing: PM's Post Cabinet Press Conference

Prime Minister John Key began by talking about his recent attendance at the APEC and ASEAN summits. He segued neatly from the opportunities available in Vietnam to outlining his upcoming itinerary which includes Malta, Paris and Berlin. More>>


After Urgent Law Change: Beneficiaries Urged To Act Immediately

I am hoping that thousands more people will be enabled to lodge their review... people without internet, who don't even realise that this has been happening. If just a fraction of the people on facebook can help others to put in reviews tomorrow it could improve so many more peoples Christmas. More>>


Auckland: Phil Goff To Run For Mayor In 2016

Phil Goff has today announced his decision to stand as an Independent candidate for Mayor of Auckland next year... As Mayor, Phil Goff will focus on a number of issues that directly impact on the lives of Aucklanders, including tackling traffic congestion and increasing the housing supply. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Mike Moore To Step Down As US Ambassador

Yvonne and I are giving notice to MFAT that we will be leaving the Post just before Christmas on the 16th December... I am now the longest serving continuous Ambassador to the US. I didn’t seek this job but felt I should do it because great issues were at stake. The time was ripe for it. More>>


Fox Glacier: Seven Dead In Helicopter Crash

The operation to recover the victims of Saturday’s helicopter crash at Fox Glacier is a technically challenging task calling for specialist skills in an unforgiving environment, says operation commander Inspector John Canning. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news