The Government must explain why it is pushing to open doors to multinational private education providers through a controversial international free trade agreement, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Documents leaked today show our Government is one of a handful wanting to protect the rights of multinational school franchises to set up operations here through the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
New figures confirming that charter schools are still being funded at up to four times the rate of their state school counterparts shows just how desperate the National Government is to make its experiment a success, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
"It’s quite amazing that National continues to pour taxpayer dollars into charter schools, despite their mixed results, even when they’re failing to meet their cornerstone pledge to get the government books back into the black.
The Government must guarantee community groups will not be the losers out of its signing of a $298 million deal for four more public private partnership (PPP) schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Community groups will find it more difficult to gain access to facilities at these schools after-hours and the Ministry of Education has previously admitted in some cases they will face additional costs for using them.
Appalling contractual arrangements by the Government mean the trust running troubled charter school Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru will keep an 81-hectare farm if it is closed for poor performance, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Millions of dollars that should have gone into educating and supporting our most at risk kids is being flushed down the drain because of the Government’s failed charter school experiment.
When Hekia Parata became aware that the Whangaruru charter school was experiencing major problems her first action was to drop standards by reducing the number of qualified teachers they had to employ, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins has revealed.
“Hekia Parata received advice last September that Whangaruru was in trouble and the Education Review Office had extended the timeframe for completing its readiness report. At the same time, she agreed to vary their contract by allowing them to employ fewer teachers and even more untrained staff.
The long-awaited release of an Education Review Office report into Northland’s troubled Whangaruru charter school proves it should never have been approved in the first place, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“This report identifies problems with absenteeism and disengaged students and found the school’s board received numerous official complaints from parents concerned about health and safety issues.
Blame for the crisis situation at Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru which led to a final notice being issued today against the Northland charter school falls firmly at the feet of the Education Minister, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Hekia Parata not only went against the advice of her own officials when she allowed Whangaruru to open, she has spent months trying to cover up the full extent of its problems by refusing to make public critical reports by the Education Review Office.
Education Minister Hekia Parata ignored official advice and approved the opening of a charter school that has been plagued with problems including bullying, drug use, absenteeism and management infighting, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“The Ministry of Education advised Hekia Parata against approving Whangaruru School, raising concerns the school would not provide a ‘safe environment’ and questioning its processes. She chose to ignore those warnings and the responsibility for the subsequent problems rests squarely on her shoulders.