A teachers' union is criticising the Government for holding
the consultation period for charter schools during New
The New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA)
yesterday launched a campaign to raise awareness about the
January 24 deadline for submissions on the Education
Amendment Bill 2012.
A full-page advertisement in the Herald on Sunday and in
today's Herald said the Government had "its own agenda - the
dismantling of New Zealand's public education system by
introducing charter schools".
It also implied the Government had purposefully chosen a
closing date for submissions on the bill when most people
were still on holiday.
"National and Act are hoping you will avert your eyes," the
PPTA president-elect Angela Roberts said in a statement about
the campaign that the consultation period was deliberately
chosen because most New Zealanders would be on holiday.
Ms Roberts said Associate Education Minister John Banks, the
Act Party leader who's championing the policy, was being
hypocritical because he encouraged people to make submissions
but had deliberately excluded the public from the process up
till now. "If Banks is genuine about the importance of the
public voice then he should extend the deadline for
submissions to allow real consultation to occur."
Ms Roberts said the bill showed that charter schools would
have little transparency and no accountability for the
spending of public money.
Mr Banks did not respond by deadline to a request for
Late last year, his spokesman said that contracts for what
the Beehive calls "partnership schools" would be awarded only
to sponsors who had a clear mission to raise achievement for
"Partnership schools will not be able to turn away students.
It is expected that they will offer education that is
tailored to the needs of those that are disadvantaged in the
current system and will therefore be most attractive to
students who are not currently doing well.
"It is very unlikely that any student who is doing well in
their current school would choose to leave," the spokesman
said in response to criticism of the policy.
The first schools were planned in West and South Auckland.
Papers released by the Treasury before Christmas show it was
sceptical about the chances that charter schools would
improve student performance and warned they could affect
nearby schools by sucking away teachers and students, and
The next legislative steps
The bill has a second reading.
At the end of the second reading debate, there'll be a vote.
If the second reading is agreed to, the bill is ready for
debate by a committee of the whole House.
The final form of the bill is agreed to and it is reprinted.
The bill receives a third reading. The vote at the end of the
debate is the final vote in the House to either pass the bill
or reject it. Bills are rarely rejected at this stage.
It is then signed into law by the Governor-General.
- Amelia Wade of the NZ Herald