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Mr Key will open the Villa Education Trust's South Auckland Middle School, a Christian school for years 7-10 this afternoon.
"It's an important step but it's got to be seen in the context of the fact we have 2550 schools approximately in New Zealand," Mr Key told reporters this morning.
"There will be families that will make the decision that they want to send their child there because it gives them what they believe will be an education that they can't get in the current system."
Mr Key said the programme would be extended and his Government was currently "looking at the details of that".
Last week a spokeswoman for Education Minister Hekia Parata told the Herald more than 100 organisations had viewed the tender documents for the second round of Partnership Schools.
"The ministry intends to release the names of the parties who have submitted an application after the closing date of March 11, 2014."
- Adam Bennett and Nicholas Jones