Roy Lilley

Rodney Hide on union fear and loathing of charter schools

Rodney Hide writes in the NBR about the fear and loathing of charters schools by doctrinaire unions.

On cue with last week?s column explaining why lefties are a miserable lot, the principal of Bruce McLaren Intermediate, Roy Lilley, hit the papers having a moan.

His gripe? Charter schools. His worry? That they will pinch his pupils with inducements of a free uniform and a policy of no donations. The new charter schools, he says, will have a ?huge? and negative impact.

The newspaper reports Mr Lilley?s school having 416 spare places. The 2013 Education Review Office Report confirms the roll at 248. His school?s almost two-thirds empty.

Why isn?t Mr Lilly offering free uniforms? Why isn?t he having a ?no donations? policy? Why isn?t he offering what students and parents want, so a charter school is no threat??Why isn?t he offering to rent his spare capacity to the new charter school and achieve synergy?

Why aren?t we laughing at him?

We would if he was the local supermarket whining about a rival opening up down the road. We would be laughing and looking forward to sharper prices, better service and higher quality produce.

Teachers, and their unions aren’t interested in any of that, they are interested in protecting their own hegemony of the system.

But schools are different.?Here we have never known choice and competition.?Our schools are run like the Soviet economy.?The Ministry of Education is our Kremlin.

The Soviets were frightened: who would feed, clothe and house them if not the government? We are the same. We can?t imagine schooling in the absence of government direction and control.

Who would build the schools??Who would feed the teachers??Who would decide what is to be taught??And how?

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Charter Schools helping families is wrong says principal of rival school

A Henderson intermediate school is upset that Charter Schools are not allowed to charge for donations and also make the audacious move of providing uniform and stationery to save families money in January and help make education genuinely free (a lefty ideal?).

Roy Lilley, principal of Bruce McLaren Intermediate, which had 416 spare places, said he was concerned about the new partnership school.

“They are offering free uniforms, no donations … totally free. The impact on local schools could be huge.”

Bruce McLaren Intermediate already has 416 spare places….and this is somehow the fault of a small Charter School (Middle School West Auckland) that will begin in 2015 and have – when the roll is full – a maximum of 120 intermediate age children from the whole of West Auckland (Charter Schools don’t have zones).

If uniform and stationery is really the problem then the Bruce McLaren Principal could check those numbers.

Lets say – generously – the wholesale cost of uniform and stationery is $200 per student. Mr Lilley has 240 students to cater for – therefore the provision would cost $48,000. According to the Fairfax School Report his school receives $1,760,000 (plus buildings and centralised services). Therefore to provide for these families he only needs to re-prioritise 2.7% of his annual budget – problem solved – his school will be full again. ?? Read more »