Vanguard Military school hosts David Seymour’s big announcement

PHOTO-Vanguard FB page

PHOTO-Vanguard FB page

Yesterday I covered a story unknown to the MSM as Chris Hipkins did not invite them. In a historic move after years of turning down invitations, Chris Hipkins finally visited two charter schools; Vanguard Military School and South Auckland Middle School. We need wonder no more at the reason for his change of heart as yesterday David Seymour made a big announcement at Vanguard Military school, the day after Chris Hipkins visited it for the first time.

Now that Charter schools will once again be in the news, I think Chris Hipkins has decided to protect himself from the questions that have been asked of him repeatedly over the years.

” Have you visited a charter school Mr Hipkins? ”

” Why haven’t you ever visited a charter school Mr Hipkins?”

It really has been a bad look that as Labour’s spokesperson for education, he has criticised partnership schools for years despite never having set foot in one. Now with David Seymour’s big announcement it has become clear why the pressure was on for Mr Hipkins to quickly visit two schools.

The Government has announced seven new charter schools will open in 2018 and 2019.

The new schools will expand the flagship ACT policy that saw five schools open, mostly in Auckland and Northland in 2014 – one of which, in Whangaruru has since been closed by the Education Minister – and another four in 2015.

A third round of applications is currently underway and more schools are expected to open as a result early next year.

ACT leader David Seymour, under-secretary to the Education Minister, made the announcement at Vanguard Military School in Auckland – one of the first charter schools to open.

Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Whangaruru was given a series of warnings and closed down in March after the school was plagued with problems, including bullying, drugs, poor student achievement and inadequate teaching.

In a move to overcome some of those issues, Seymour has also announced the introduction of an independent entity to support schools.

“The development of an independent support entity shows the maturation of the policy, bringing Partnership Schools into line with international charter school models.”

The support entity, E Tipu E Rea, would join other independent organisations such as the New Zealand School Trustees Association in providing support services, he said.

It would receive most of its funding from private sources and was designed to increase the number of “high quality applicants” setting up schools, and supporting existing schools to “continuously develop”.

It would also receive a conditional funding grant of $500,000, which would be drawn from a “contingency established in 2015,” Seymour said.

Former CEO of EY Australasia, Rob McLeod, will chair the board, which includes Dame Tariana Turia, Dame Jenny Gibbs, Michael Jones, Bruce Ritchie and Ken Rapson as board members.

– Stuff

David Seymour at Vanguard Military School-PHOTO Vanguard FB page

David Seymour at Vanguard Military School-PHOTO Vanguard FB page

With the expansion of the Partnership school model due to success stories like South Auckland Middle school and Vanguard Military school, Labour are going to have to rethink their opposition to charter schools. They are here to stay and they are growing. It will be a foolish Labour politician indeed that tells the parents of these students that they are going to shut down their schools or force them to become state schools.

The Maori Party supports the Partnership model as do many important leaders within the Maori community. The National Party and the Act Party are behind them, as well as a significant chunk of Labour’s voting base. Continued opposition to them from Labour would be most unwise and the Media party too, should consider changing their tune.


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