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Government rushing full speed ahead on charter schools

22 December 2011
For Immediate Release

Government rushing full speed ahead on charter schools

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is disappointed by comments from the new Education Minister which show the government is rushing full speed ahead with charter schools.

Hekia Parata has reportedly said today that there is a great deal of interest in charter schools in south Auckland and some educators are already putting their hands up to run them.

The speed at which the government is moving on what is completely unmandated coalition policy is worrying,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie.

“It’s important to remember that the people of south Auckland did not vote for charter schools and have not been asked whether they want to hand over their children’s education to private business where there is limited accountability.”

“Our students and schools do better than those in any of the countries where charter schools have been established. Overseas experience shows that charter schools do nothing to raise educational achievement and can take money away from existing schools and undermine communities”.

NZEI believes the children who are missing out on educational success the most are facing the combined hurdles of poor health, bad housing, troubled families and poverty. These aren’t problems schools can fix on their own, and they certainly aren’t problems that charter schools can fix.

Mr Leckie says “the government needs to pull back and listen to the public concern being expressed about charter schools and front up with some real answers as to why New Zealand needs them before giving any business or company the green light”.

NZEI is also calling for any move to establish charter schools to go through proper parliamentary processes so the public at least has a chance to make submissions and have the issues debated.

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