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Child protection policies must extend to charter schools

Child protection policies must extend to charter schools

If the Government is genuinely committed to doing everything possible to ensure children are safe it will make sure charter schools’ teachers face the same rigorous checks that those in state schools do, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

“Paula Bennett has argued that we need to do everything possible to ensure children are in safe hands. I agree, and that’s why I’m concerned the government aren’t requiring charter school teachers to meet rigorous teacher registration requirements.

“There are few people who spend more time with our children than our teachers. That is why it is critical the Minister is upfront about what security checks will be in place for all teachers, including those in charter schools.

“We already know that teachers in charter schools do not need to be qualified, and that sponsors of charter schools will have a great deal of influence over staffing without requirements to be transparent about their decision making.

“Parents deserve assurances that all schools will uphold stringent safety standards and protocols.

“There are too many question marks around the set-up of charter schools. Just last year the Minister was advised that; ‘[the] potential for a negative impact on students’ education from teachers who do not meet the minimum standards for the profession is high’.

“The Government must ensure there is adequate oversight in place for these children. It must assure New Zealanders the process that charter school teachers go through is as robust as that planned for other state sector employees,” Chris Hipkins said.


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