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Partnership Schools Initiative

Press Release: 3rd August, 2012
Partnership Schools Initiative

Manukau Charitable Christian Trust (”MCCT”) is one of the organizations intending to participate in the government's charter schools programme.

“We are greatly encouraged by the Government's announcement of its best-in-international class charter school model”, said Tony Bracefield, Chairman of the Trust.

MCCT intends to partner with Manukau Christian School to provide high quality education to children in South Auckland. “Many of these children come from homes in which there are no books, no settled adult carers, and little or no parental commitment to their education. They are currently getting lost in the system and falling through the cracks,” said Mr Bracefield.

The MCCT already runs a number of successful Early Childhood Education centres in the poorest areas of South Auckland. “We want to provide a seamless transition for our pupils from our Early Childhood Education centres to Manukau Christian School. It is an independent school which has an enviable twenty-five year record of education excellence and achievement,” said Mr Bracefield.

The MCCT believes much of the criticism of charter schools has been based upon fear and ignorance. Vocal critics, often from within the established school system, have a vested interest and allege that charter school education will be sub-standard and damaging to children.

“With the announcement of Partnership Schools the government has demonstrated that these fears and allegations are baseless” said Mr Bracefield. “We applaud this initiative and believe it will make a significant difference to children in South Auckland who are currently missing out.”

Manukau Christian School is a Cambridge Affiliated School. It teaches the internationally acclaimed Cambridge Curriculum from a Christian perspective. “We are delighted with the structures that the Government is putting around charter schools to ensure they will meet National Standards. We accept this challenge and responsibility without question,” said Principal, Shane Kennedy.

“Our students don't only meet, but in most cases well exceed, National Standards”, added Mr Kennedy. He puts this down to the high quality of teaching at Manukau Christian School.

“The government's Partnership programme will make our high quality education accessible to some of the poorest households in South Auckland,” said Mr Kennedy. “The Partnership Schools initiative is one of the most exciting and innovative reforms in the education system in my lifetime,” he added.

“We believe we can help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Children who leave school without being able to read or write, as often happens now in South Auckland, have little future,” said Mr Kennedy. He believes the Partnership Schools programme will make a significant difference to many young lives.

Ends. . . .

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