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Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua: funding

Hon John Banks
Associate Minister of Education

16 May 2013
Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua: funding focuses on raising achievement

Budget 2013 will provide $19 million in contingency funding to establish the first Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua with a focus on accountability and high educational outcomes for New Zealand children.

The initiative will see a small number of schools established, with greater freedom and flexibility to innovate and engage their students in return for stronger accountability for delivering educational results, Associate Education Minister John Banks says.

The schools will have a particular focus on the Government’s priority groups of Māori, Pasifika, children from low socio-economic backgrounds, and children with special education needs.

“This is about raising educational achievement, in particular for those groups of students who have historically been under-served by the system,’’ Mr Banks says.

“We already have a number of different types of schools operating in New Zealand, such as Kura, faith-based schools, single-sex schools, and private schools.

“Partnership Schools are another option, giving parents and students more freedom to choose the type of education that best suits their learning needs.”

The Ministry of Education has received proposals from potential sponsors for Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua. The establishment of the schools is subject to the passage of the Education Amendment Bill 2012. The Bill sets out the legal framework for the schools.

This funding has been put in contingency and will be drawn down once the legislation passes and as decisions are made later in the year.

Fact File - Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua
• Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua are a new way of delivering public education which will bring together the education, business, and community sectors to provide new opportunities for students to achieve education success.
• Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua are fully-funded schools outside the state system, accountable to the Crown for raising achievement through a contract to deliver a range of specified school-level targets.
• The most fundamental difference between Partnership Schools/ Kura Hourua and state or state-integrated schools is that their relationship with the Ministry of Education will be contractual as well as regulatory.
• Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua will have more freedom over how they operate, so they can innovate to better meet the needs of their students, and achieve their targets. This includes greater flexibility over curriculum, staff qualifications, employment, hours of operation, and school leadership.
• Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua will be in areas where learners are currently underserved by existing education provision, and will be open to all students who apply for entry, regardless of background or ability.
• They will have no tuition fees.
Achievement and other performance expectations specified in the contract, and monitored through a combination of the Education Review Office and the specially appointed Authorisation Board, will use National Standards and other recognised measures set out in a performance measurement framework.

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