17 Apr 2014

Case for kura 'dubious from start'

7:48 pm on 17 April 2014

The secondary teachers union says it's not surprising a Northland charter school is having trouble getting staff.

Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru, south of Russell, is looking for a chief executive officer, and as term one ends, it's still short of teachers.

Its business director Glen Sadler, who's the uncle of the school's curriculum director, has resigned and leaves this week.

The trust set up to sponsor the school bought 80 hectares of farmland for $600,000 and moved prefab classrooms onto the site.

The PPTA's Northland spokesperson Adele Towgood says the Ministry of Education itself identified weaknesses in the kura's application for funding as a charter school.

She says there were doubts over the need for such a school in the remote Whangaruru community, but the Minister Hekia Parata approved it, despite those concerns.

However, Northland's other charter school, set up in Whangarei by Te Puna Marama Trust is off to a good start: it's just had the tick of approval after two visits by the Education Review Office.

Te Puna Marama has had 16 years' experience running pre-schools in Northland and Auckland, and the 28th Maori Battalion Leadership Academy in Whangarei.