Hitman Hipkins and Ardern lay the groundwork for their termination plans

Credit: Luke

Yesterday I watched this video of Chris Hipkins and Jacinda Ardern making a very strange announcement. Given their determination to terminate all Charter schools and their continued suppression of the Martin Jenkins report I have the following thoughts on their agenda.

In the video, they announce that Vanguard Military school has been the first school to submit its application to transition to a school of special character as if an application is a big deal. It will be a big deal if any of the Charter schools get their transition approved or if the termination is called off.

Hipkins is acting as though he has the power to close them when the law he needs to give him that power hasn’t even been passed yet. The schools have been threatened with closure and put under duress to close or to try to transition because of a law that doesn’t even exist.

In the video, they also reiterate the falsehood that Ministry officials are working closely with Charter schools to help them with this process. My sources tell me that it is an uphill struggle to get any help let alone answers from the Ministry of Education. There have been a number of complaints lodged in fact about the Ministry of Education by certain Charter schools prior to Labour coming to power and now their fate is in the hands of a Ministry that they have multiple complaints against. It is like the fate of your job being put in the hands of a boss that you have made a sexual harassment complaint about.

There is also an underlying message to the other Charter schools in the video as Vanguard is described by Hipkins as having engaged ‘very constructively right from the beginning of the process to find a way forward.’

The people I know who are running Charter schools desperately want to save their schools but how can they engage constructively with a ministry and a government determined to close them down who are not prepared to fix the flawed character school legislation to make it possible for their schools to transition?

Most Charter schools became Charter schools because they weren’t able to obtain Special Character status. It is deliberately deceptive of Hipkins and Ardern to present the issue as if it is simply a matter of applying and being accepted, for schools to transition.

They are setting up the narrative that the schools are slow to apply and that they are not prepared to have a constructive dialogue with the ministry. Considering that the government are effectively holding a gun to all their heads I don’t see how constructive dialogue and good faith negotiations can even be possible.

Hipkins and Ardern I believe held this press conference to lay the groundwork for the termination of the majority of Charter schools. They may allow one or two to transition to make it appear that it was a fair process but the rest will be closed and they will blame the Charter schools even though they know that whether the schools apply or not they will be turned down as they cannot fulfil the requirements as they currently stand.

Dominic Elliot is honoured by the PM before she closes down his Partnership school. PHOTO supplied


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