Documents reveal Government’s secretive approach to charter schools
Documents released by the Government reveal just how dangerous and secretive its plan to ram through charter schools is.
NZEI Te Riu Roa National Secretary Paul Goulter says it is staggering how far the Government is prepared to go in its desperate bid to get these so-called schools into our communities.
“The Key-Banks Government is making a mockery of our country’s democratic process by calling for applications before the Select Committee hearing submissions on the Education Amendment Bill has even been reported back to the House.
“And even more worrying, is the secrecy and the speed by which these schools will be foisted on our communities.”
Yesterday’s documents released by the Ministry of Education calling for applications from organisations reveal that contract decisions for charter schools could be made as early as May. As well as this:
- there is a lack of transparency – it appears some special confidentiality clauses in contracts will apply ( Key Agreement Terms and Principles ref 34.2, 31)
- there will be no process for any neighbourhood schools or communities to have input into decisions that may directly affect them such as the impact on their rolls or increasing inequity or segregation in their community
- the “cashed up” funding approach adopted by the Government will incentivise sponsors to drive down staff, equipment and transports costs, especially by profit-driven operators (Application to Operate a Partnership school Sec 3)
- the model shows that charter schools could end up with very few trained teachers (Key Agreement Terms and Principles 12.3)
- the charter school authorisation board both approves and reviews performances. Already serious questions have been raised about the qualifications and experience of these board members (Application to Operate a Partnership School 2.4)
“So all in all the process is totally irresponsible and it beggars belief that any government of any persuasion would want to undermine a quality public education system in this way.”
“We have yet to hear any evidence that these schools would work. This is simply about ideology and an agenda to privatise our quality public education system with no concern about the long term risks for education in this country.”