A little over two years into its existence, Middle School West Auckland’s roll has already increased to 200. Capacity for 2017 is 210 and they are now working on a strategy to facilitate the full roll of 240 in 2018.
South Auckland Middle School which opened first is already full and currently, has 70 students on its waiting list. Despite the waiting list people are still enquiring about places on a daily basis.
The challenge of funding expansion is a stumbling block for these successful and popular partnership schools. Middle School West Auckland and South Auckland Middle School both lease their buildings. In order for these two Partnership schools to expand they need funding to lease, refurbish and equip additional buildings.
The Villa Education Trust and He Puna Marama Trust say the schools’ property funding does not stretch to building or fitting out new classrooms to keep up with enrolment increases.
Both trusts own growing charter schools and the Villa Education Trust wants extra funding for growth while He Puna Marama Trust is seeking access to a government loan.
The funding model for Partnership schools has changed from what it was three years ago. David Seymour says that “The adjustments to the funding model provide Partnership Schools with greater incentives to grow, and will ensure that the schools are efficient while they are small. It will also share a greater proportion of the risks with the sponsors of Partnership Schools, and incentivise sponsors to partner with external parties for resourcing, thus enriching the linkages between school and community, and allowing more Partnership Schools to be opened for a given budget.”