Topic: Education

Vanguard Military School lives on

By Tema Hemi
  • Auckland

The stand-out success of the Vangaurd Military School as a charter school will not be threatened under the Labour-led coalition government.

It's a school which gives students a second chance. 

Now it seems the education minister also believes in second chances and others are following his lead.

In a written email to Te Kaea Minister for Education Chris Hipkins wrote, ""As well as Vanguard, the other charter schools that are currently operating have also applied to become part of the state school system, either as state integrated or designated character schools".

The board of trustees and school staff believe making a switch to a designated character school will continue its special focus on 'second chance' students.

Nick Hyde chief executive of Vanguard Military School says, "Yeah, there's some fundamental differences.  I think first of all we are bulk-funded which allows me to move funding into areas to help our most disadvantaged kids".

Charter schools were set up under the National government and the Act Party 4 years ago.  It was move which Labour decided to abolish when they came in to power.

Hyde says, "I think you have to remember that all those kids that attend charter schools come from tax payers.  They're gonna get funded whether they're in the local school or another school anyway".

Other charter schools will be following in Vanguard's footsteps to apply for a new lease of life, but it comes at a cost.

Teacher at South Auckland Middle School, Warren Cook says, "The bad things is it's very stressful on the families and on the kids and, of course, the staff.  You know, the unknown of whether we'll still be open, whether we can still provide this awesome opportunity".

Hipkins is due to give results to the remaining schools who have applied to the government to remain as charter or special character schools at the end of July this year.