Hekia just won’t face the facts

Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. 

“Both Hekia Parata and the Prime Minister John Key have said that if charter schools fail they will not remain open. A damning audit of the Whangaruru school has found there were grounds for closure but the Minister has ignored this and overruled her own officials advice.

“What is it going to take for this Government to admit that this disastrous and wasteful educational experiment is not working. This is a failing cornerstone of National’s education policy which is seeing five times the amount of taxpayers’ funds spent per pupil at Charter schools as at Public schools. 

“There is absolutely no doubt that state schools could do some pretty amazing things for disadvantaged children if they were given this level of funding.

 “It is shameful to continue to put the students at Whangaruru at risk and Hekia Parata must be held accountable.

 “The problems at Whangaruru are just the tip of the iceberg. This week it was revealed that another charter school in Auckland is facing a parent revolt. 

“Today’s news was released cynically on a Friday afternoon in the midst of another failing privatisation experiment over Serco running New Zealand’s prisons,” says Chris Hipkins .