Topics: ANZAC, Rereātea - Midday News

New education bill passes first reading

By Jessica Tyson

A new Bill stopping the future of new charter schools in Aotearoa has passed its first reading in Parliament.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says the Education Amendment Bill will end National Standards and repeals legislation that allows for future charter schools.

“Existing charter schools remain able to operate under their contracts while the Ministry of Education discusses future options on a case-by-case basis,” he says.

As well as that, the Bill guarantees places for staff and student representatives on tertiary education councils.

It will also introduce a new offence for students who make a false representation about their eligibility fees-free education, resulting in a criminal conviction and a fine.

A total of 63 representatives from Labour, New Zealand First and Greens voted for the Bill yesterday in Parliament. Meanwhile, 57 from National and Act voted against.

Vanguard Military School CEO Nick Hyde, told Te Kāea he was disappointed that Minister Hipkins chose to discontinue the charter school model.

“We have been open for four years. We have a 90 per cent 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,” says Hyde.

Minister Hipkins accepted some Māori saw value in the model.

“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 bill will next be considered by a select committee.