Charter schools to be axed

By Heta Gardiner

The Minister of Education Chris Hipkins didn’t mince his words, being very clear of his intentions for charter schools. “We’ve been very clear that we don’t like the charter school model and we’re not going to continue the charter school model.”

Though not surprised with the decision Vanguard Military School was disappointed, CEO Nick Hyde saying he was “Disappointed I had to learn about this through the media”. Vanguard is a charter school with a positive academic record. “We have been open for 4 years, we have a 90% pass rate, we’ve doubled our roll, we get great ERO reports, I don’t know what else we can do to prove that we are a quality education provider.” Said Hyde.

Minister Hipkins accepted some Māori saw value in the model, saying “I acknowledge for the Māori education providers in particular, there is a desire to have a ‘by Māori for Māori’ focus and we certainly want to see how we can accommodate that better within the public education system.”

The National Government allowed the establishment of the first wave of charter schools four years ago. Over the years some current Labour Māori Ministers including Willie Jackson and Kelvin Davis were complementary of the success some charter schools were having when it came to Māori education.