22 December 2011
For Immediate Release
Government rushing full speed ahead on charter schools
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is disappointed by comments from the new Education Minister which show the
government is rushing full speed ahead with charter schools.
Hekia Parata has reportedly said today that there is a great deal of interest in charter schools in south Auckland and
some educators are already putting their hands up to run them.
The speed at which the government is moving on what is completely unmandated coalition policy is worrying,” says NZEI
President Ian Leckie.
“It’s important to remember that the people of south Auckland did not vote for charter schools and have not been asked
whether they want to hand over their children’s education to private business where there is limited accountability.”
“Our students and schools do better than those in any of the countries where charter schools have been established.
Overseas experience shows that charter schools do nothing to raise educational achievement and can take money away from
existing schools and undermine communities”.
NZEI believes the children who are missing out on educational success the most are facing the combined hurdles of poor
health, bad housing, troubled families and poverty. These aren’t problems schools can fix on their own, and they
certainly aren’t problems that charter schools can fix.
Mr Leckie says “the government needs to pull back and listen to the public concern being expressed about charter schools
and front up with some real answers as to why New Zealand needs them before giving any business or company the green
NZEI is also calling for any move to establish charter schools to go through proper parliamentary processes so the
public at least has a chance to make submissions and have the issues debated.
New Zealand Educational Institute
NZEI Te Riu Roa members work in every community in New Zealand, leading and advocating for quality public education.
We are the 50,000 principals, teachers and support staff who work in primary, area and secondary schools as well as
early childhood centres, special education and school advisory services. We come together as NZEI Te Riu Roa - New
Zealand's largest education union, a Treaty based organisation and a powerful advocate for quality public education.
We have the most important job in New Zealand - educating for the future.