11 Sep 2014

Govt to set up four new charter schools

6:28 pm on 11 September 2014

The Government has announced four new charter schools to be set up next year, with two of the publicly-funded private schools to be run by new charter school operators.

The government will spend $15.5 million over four years on four new charter schools.

The government will spend $15.5 million over four years on four new charter schools. Photo: PHOTO NZ

They are a primary school sponsored by the Manukau Urban Maori Authority in Mangere, and a secondary school sponsored by the Pacific Peoples' Advancement Trust in Otahuhu.

The other schools will be run by organisations that already operate charter schools.

They are a middle school in West Auckland sponsored by the Villa Education Trust, and a primary school in Whangarei sponsored by He Puna Marama Charitable Trust, which already runs four pre-schools and a charter secondary school.

The Government said it would spend $15.5 million over four years on the new schools.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said the four new charter schools will go into areas where many students are under-performing.

Ms Parata said the schools were chosen after a lengthy selection process.

"They all had quite different offerings but they were in areas where there are high proportions of students who are not being as successful in our mainstream system, and have not been for some time."

She said the four schools were expected to have a combined roll of 380 students next year.

But a leading Northland principal says the new charter school in Whangarei will be a waste of public money.

Tai Tokerau Principals Association president Pat Newman said it was ironic that the school to be built at Jubilee Park will be on a playing field - but not a level one.

He said if the government has to build charter schools to please the ACT party, it should fund state schools at the same high level.

He said the new charter school will be close to several state primary schools, including his own, which have good records in helping Maori children, and it was not needed - except by politicians.

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