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No need for secrecy around charter schools

Chris Hipkins
Education Spokesperson

8 May 2013

No need for secrecy around charter schools

The Government should lift its veil of secrecy surrounding the establishment of charter schools and be up-front with the public about who has applied to set them up, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

“Parliament hasn't even passed the bill that would give charter schools the go ahead, but it seems the government is well down the track of short-listing candidates.

“As we move into the next stage of the debate in Parliament, it's important that MPs and the public have access to the specifics around who might be teaching our children.

“Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua Authorisation Board Chair Catherine Isaac can talk all she likes about ‘being impressed’ by the ‘calibre’ of applicants and about their ‘passionate concern’ for education, but her comments don’t matter a jot while New Zealanders are kept in the dark.

“It seems odd that a government so confident that charter schools will be good for education, would keep the 35 applications secret.

“In reality charter schools will be less accountable than public schools. They won't be subject to the same scrutiny and won't have to employ qualified teachers. In fact, they won't even have to teach to the curriculum.

“Communities don’t need soft-soaping, they need the facts. If the Education Minister is serious about lifting achievement she should insist the board releases the details of the applicants,” Chris Hipkins said.

ENDS

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