Partnership schools working, even John Campbell has found that out

Campbell Live went to a Partnership school (Charter School) for a day to find out what is happening.

Remember that Labour has said they will abolish charter schools in the unlikely event they are elected, despite the wishes of parents and despite any evidence to suggest they are not effective. Labour simply does what the teacher unions demand.

From the outside, South Auckland Middle School looks like any other, but go back a year and you’d be hearing very different things about it.

Occupying part of the Elim buildings in Manurewa, South Auckland Middle School is one of New Zealand’s first charter schools – today Campbell Live spent the day inside to find out how it works.

Academic manager Alwyn Poole says it is actually much simpler than people have made it out to be.

“The Government has contracted with us and then funded us as a state school to provide something different for the children in this area,” says Mr Poole.

Principal Wendy Greig is a registered teacher – she says being in charge at a charter school hasn’t changed how she does her job.

“Ultimately, the school’s job is the same too,” says Ms Greig. “We are not there to compete with other schools – we have just a slightly different way of running a school”.

Inside, it looks like a regular classroom – so what’s different about this school? 

The school is bulk-funded – meaning free uniforms and no school fees. Charter schools are a departure from how New Zealand schools have traditionally been run; whether it’s a good departure is hotly debated.

Charter schools are publicly funded, but privately run – they’re allowed to keep any profits, they do not have to follow the curriculum or hire registered teachers, and they do not have a board of trustees.

All that didn’t stop Shiri Te Whatu from sending her child to South Auckland Middle School, but she did have reservations.

I was originally opposed to partnership schools when they first came out [but] I think part of that was misconception,” says Ms Whatu. “But when we became involved and now that we’ve seen what their focus is, it’s been wonderful.”

Parent choice, isn’t it wonderful?

Why does Labour wish to ignore the choices of parents?

Why does Labour want to abolish successful schools and return the kids to the failed local schools under union control?

What are Labour and the unions afraid of? Competition?

– Campbell Live


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