7 Feb 2014

Party urged to spare charter schools

9:12 pm on 7 February 2014

The Labour Party is being urged by the chair of its biggest Pasifika electorate to spare charter schools if it becomes the next Government.

The appeal came from Sally Ikinofo, Labour's electorate chair in Mangere, at the opening of Rise Up Academy in South Auckland on Friday.

Rise Up is the first Pasifika charter school, offering a Christian-based education involving the whole family and teaching the national curriculum to 50 children up to Year 6. Forty-seven children have been enrolled.

Ms Ikinofo, who also chairs the school's board, says it is a scary time for them because of Labour's promise to repeal the partnership schools legislation.

She is lobbying Labour MPs to keep the school open, because she says it can make a difference to the education of Pasifika children.

If Labour does repeal the legislation, the Rise Up Academy and others like it should be allowed to continue as special character schools, she says.

Registered teachers will teach the New Zealand cirriculum at the school from 8.30am to 3pm, with community experts taking sports, arts and culture from 3pm to 5pm.