31 July 2013
NZEI Te Riu Roa complaint forces revelation of charter school hopefuls
The Ministry of Education has finally been forced to reveal the names of organisations who have shown an interest in setting up a charter school in New Zealand.
The release follows a complaint from NZEI Te Riu Roa to the Ombudsman earlier this year after the Ministry refused to reveal which organisations had shown an “indication of interest” in setting up a charter school.
The Ombudsman, Prof Ron Paterson, found that the Ministry had “no good reason” for refusing to release the names.
Professor Paterson, in his report, was also critical of the fact that the Chair of the Partnership Schools Authorisation Board, Catherine Isaac, had earlier assured two organisations that their identities would remain confidential.
NZEI National President Judith Nowotarski says she welcomes today’s release.
“It’s finally some transparency in an otherwise secretive process.”
“However this is information that should have been released months ago so that New Zealanders could have had some discussion and debate before the final decisions were made.
“In particular the communities where these schools intend to locate have been frozen out of the decision about schooling in their area.”
“Once again, this indicates the Ministry prefers to keep public debate and information to as minimal level as possible.”
“And unfortunately the secrecy surrounding Charter Schools will continue because they will not, under the legislation, be subject to the Official Information Act despite being taxpayer funded.”