Minister acting in bad faith on partnership schools
Education Minister Chris Hipkins’ contempt for partnership schools has translated into a clear disregard for the
students and their families with the introduction of legislation to scrap these schools that have been making a real
difference for vulnerable young people, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.
“Despite several Labour MPs previously voicing their support for partnership schools, including Kelvin Davis and Willie
Jackson, it appears the Government has no interest in doing the right thing by these schools, their students and their
“The Minister has stated that there will be no new partnerships schools, and existing partnership schools will now go
into negotiations with the Ministry of Education about their future. But in the Minister’s own words, the preference is
that the existing schools close.
“Last year the Minister accidentally tried to announce the closure of these schools prior to discussing it with them. He
then left the schools waiting for clarity over the summer break with little information. To make matters worse, just
days out from further meetings regarding the future of these schools, he has introduced this legislation and shown his
“How can these schools go into negotiations in good faith when they know that the Minister wishes for them to close? How
can the schools that choose not to close and go through a process to be converted into a different school have
confidence in the fairness of the process, when the Minister has made his preference clear?
“It is also apparent that there is no transition plan for the children and young people who attend existing partnership
schools. These are kids who have struggled in mainstream education and have finally found a school that works for them,
but the Government wants to take that away and doesn’t appear to care what happens to them next.
“The way the Minister has treated partnership schools has been disgraceful and opened the Government up to significant