Dear Mr Hipkins

Guest Post:

Dear Mr Hipkins,

Thank you for your belated reply to my correspondence (dated 8 February 2018).

I must admit to being disappointed and frustrated that you seem to have failed to appreciate the value, benefits and cost-effectiveness of the Partnership Schools Kura Hourua model. Have you actually visited any of these schools with an open mind?

As I pointed out in my previous letter, the public education system, which I have funded as a taxpayer for 50 years, has been failing to educate a sector of students who have the right to have what you state is your goal of “every child has the opportunity to succeed”.

In my opinion, success is not just measured by academic qualifications, but also the ability to become a productive member of our community. South Auckland Middle School delivers on both these fronts. They have proven they have the expertise to work with these children that I have never seen in the public school system in 24 years of being engaged with several different schools.

Your theory may seem ideologically sound but the reality we know and have experienced is children with special learning needs do not function well in large public schools no matter how well resourced they are. The charter school model allows these children to reach the same level of success that other children can reach in the public school system. If the question is about “effective use of public funding” and fair funding for all children, then why not use the funding these children are entitled to, and teach them in an environment that is currently working well for them? Minimise disruption to families and students by using the funding which will be sucked up in making unnecessary changes to expand a model of education that is producing great results.

With the recent statics on child abuse and child poverty uppermost in the minds of the public, your policy of changing an innovative solution which supports disadvantaged children could be misinterpreted. For these children and families, this is not just a matter of theory and policy it’s their future at stake.

Thank you for your well wishes for my grandchildren’s education, they will succeed and they have a great future ahead of them thanks to South Auckland Middle School and the Partnership Model.

Yours sincerely,