An open letter from a Partnership school parent

Dear Jacinda and Chris

I hope I?ve managed to make it through your gatekeepers and you?re able to have a quick read of this email.

I?m writing in support of Villa Education Trust (VET) Charter Schools. My son has historically found it difficult to fit into the traditional schooling model and has been through 4 schools before I enrolled him at West Auckland Middle School for year 9.

“John” has ADHD and ODD and the traditional, somewhat overstretched school systems have not been able to accommodate his extra needs, a good example is a school suspension within the first week of year 1, not the ideal experience for a 5-year-old, but also one of the only tools available for teachers who have large classrooms to deal with.

Over his next 8 years at school “John” became a very withdrawn child with his school life being a daily struggle for him. As a parent, I could see that there was a high possibility that “John” could become a suicide statistic in his teenage years. His average day was a struggle.

For year 9 I looked for an alternative option for “John”, and a friend suggested West Auckland Middle School. Although there are draw-cards of free uniform, stationary etc, the main draw-card for me was small classes, attentive teachers, project-based curriculum and the split day.

Historically “John” has been able to maintain his attention during the morning, and then becomes disruptive in the classroom in the afternoon. The split day has been perfect for him, with academic work in the mornings, and sports, music or art in the afternoon.

“John” is now thriving, both at school and at home. While “John” obviously still has ADHD and ODD and the behaviours that come with this his teachers are more attentive, communicate well and are able to work with me as a parent. This does seem like the perfect schooling model, not just for children like “John” but anyone who doesn?t fit within the standardised system.

I would like to encourage you to take some time to learn more about how VET operates if you are not already aware.


A Partnership school parent

Prize giving 2017 Middle School West Auckland