5 Dec 2011

National-ACT agree to adopt controversial US school model

9:11 pm on 5 December 2011

The National Party and ACT Party have agreed to trial a system that would allow private companies to take over state schools.

The parties' confidence and supply agreement says they will set up so-called charter schools in areas of under-achievement, starting with South Auckland.

The charter school model comes from the United States, where it has been controversial.

The schools receive state funding but are free of many of the regulations that apply to state or integrated schools.

The agreement says community organisations such as iwi and Pacific groups and school trustees can apply for charters and so can for-profit companies.

Once they have a charter, groups can decide the length of their school day and year, pay teachers according to performance and use any approved curriculum.