New Zealand Labour Party

Key’s failing charter school promise hollow

John Key’s promise to swiftly close down failing charter schools can be added to his ever-growing list of unbelievable statements, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Two years ago the Prime Minister rejected criticism of the Government’s highly-flawed charter school model by saying that if the schools didn’t succeed, the Government would be ‘quick’ to shut them down.

“Yet evidence has now emerged that not only is National not closing down a charter school that is clearly failing, it had confirmation it shouldn’t have been allowed to open in the first place.

“The Education Review Office ‘Readiness Report’ for Whangarei’s Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru still hasn’t been publicly released, unlike the reports for all four of the other charter schools. However other documents released by the Ministry of Education show it raises major concerns about the school.

“Whangaruru has been plagued with problems from the outset. Management infighting, serious health and safety issues such as bullying and drug use, as well as ongoing concerns about the quality of teaching, learning and student engagement have all been highlighted.

“How on earth was this school allowed to open in the first place? What’s the point of conducting a ‘readiness’ assessment if the findings are going to be ignored and the school allowed to open regardless?

“The entire charter school model is fundamentally flawed. Sadly it’s the pupils who are being robbed of their shot at quality education,” Chris Hipkins says.