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Secondary Teachers’ Charter School Meetings Begin Tomorrow

The return of charter schools and the Government’s position on Te Tiriti will be the focus of paid union meetings attended by more than 21,000 secondary and area school teachers, starting tomorrow (13 May).

Regional meetings of secondary teachers will take place tomorrow from 1pm in East Auckland, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Hutt Valley, Nelson, Dunedin and Queenstown.

Chris Abercrombie, PPTA Te Wehengarua president, said the focus of the meetings would be how secondary teachers respond to the Government's proposals to channel money out of public education and into charter schools.

“There has been a glaring lack of consultation and information, from both the Ministry and the Ministers of Education on how charter schools will work, despite repeated requests for details through official information requests and face-to-face meetings.

“Charter schools were a hugely expensive and unproven experiment, when they were last introduced back in 2014. Funded totally by public money, they can be run by whoever wants to run them, they are not required to be transparent or accountable, they can use untrained and unqualified staff as teachers and they’re not required to teach the national curriculum. The fact that all the charter schools – bar one – were able to be reintegrated successfully back into the state school system demonstrates there was no need for them in the first place.

“We are seriously concerned this time around about existing schools being converted to charter schools. There are signficiant implications for children and young people’s access to their local school, teachers’ terms and conditions of work, redundancy costs, property issues and much more. Every school community has a right to know what is being planned.”

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Chris Abercrombie said the meetings would also discuss how PPTA Te Wehengarua as a union would continue affirm and advance Te Tiriti o Waitangi, one of its main constitutional goals, in light of the Government’s apparent stance on Te Tiriti.

“ We are concerned that some of the Government’s policies are undermining the great work that has been done in schools towards improving educational outcomes for ākonga Māori.”

The meetings will be held during the fortnight from tomorrow until Friday 24 May.

PPTA Te Wehengarua paid union meeting schedule

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