ACT used as a Trojan horse to push through unmandated education policy
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says the government has used the ACT Party as a Trojan horse in introducing charter schools to New Zealand.
Under the National/Act coalition agreement, the government has committed to embarking on a charter schools programme, which will see alternative education providers competing with existing schools for students and funding.
NZEI says the public needs to question why New Zealand needs charter schools and why the policy was never flagged in the lead up to the election.
NZEI President Ian Leckie says “it is astounding that this sort of policy, which has the potential to change the face of New Zealand’s education system, is being arrogantly pushed through and given priority, without the public having a say on the matter”.
“We need to be asking why we want public money going into privately-run charter schools when there is no evidence they will add any value or benefit New Zealand’s education system or local communities”.
Overseas experience shows they can take students and money away from existing schools, undermine communities and increase social segregation. They are also less accountable and there is no proof that they are effective in raising educational standards or achievement levels.
Ian Leckie says the introduction of charter schools is a step towards the privatisation of education for which the government has no mandate.
“I think New Zealanders should be very concerned that the ACT Party, which received less than 1% of the vote, is suddenly shaping and dictating key education policy. The government clearly had charter schools sitting on its agenda and is using ACT to do its bidding”.