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Charter schools announcement raises serious concerns

Charter schools announcement raises serious concerns amongst education professionals

The Auckland Primary Principals’ Association responded today to the Minister of Education’s announcement that charter schools would be opening in New Zealand in 2014.

“There is no research to support the belief that charter schools do any better for children in terms of their achievement”, said Auckland Primary Principals’ Association President Jill Corkin. Our New Zealand schools already consistently rate in the very top performing school systems in the world according to the PISA survey. The government needs to show its support for what teachers are doing every day – effectively teaching children in all areas of the curriculum”.

Charter schools were announced by the National Government as part of its confidence and supply agreement with the Act party following the 2011 general election. Charter schools will be funded by both government and another entity such as a church or a business, allowed to make a profit, and exempt from some of the requirements governing schools in the public system.

“One of the most concerning parts of this announcement is that these schools will be permitted to hire untrained teachers. If parents were deeply concerned about the government’s recent attempt to increase class sizes in New Zealand schools, they are going to be incensed that our National government thinks that it will be OK to put children in front of an adult who has no teacher training” Ms. Corkin said. “This is yet another experiment, like the implementation of National Standards, that is being launched upon our children, families and schools by a government that seems set to prove that New Zealand can succeed with policies and approaches that are failing in other countries. Auckland principals strongly support public education in New Zealand, and are very proud of the very successful schools that we have in this country”.

ENDS

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