No char­ter schools on the cards for Porirua

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

There won’t be a part­ner­ship school com­ing to Porirua any time soon.

Nine­teen ap­pli­ca­tions for part­ner­ship schools – of­ten known as char­ter schools – were re­ceived from or­gan­i­sa­tions around the coun­try ear­lier this year.

The Caribbean- based Da­vidic Cen­tre Trust over­came the first hur­dle to open a faith-based school in Porirua, but was de­clined in the sec­ond round of con­sid­er­a­tion on May 12.

Five part­ner­ship schools have been given the green light, none in Porirua.

Parata said the neg­a­tive press around part­ner­ship schools was un­war­ranted.

The schools, given the goa­head as part of a coali­tion be­tween Act and Na­tional, would go ahead re­gard­less of Act MP John Banks’ exit from Par­lia­ment, she said.

They had been tested and re­searched rig­or­ously.

‘‘ We’ve ap­proved five schools in New Zealand, cater­ing for 370 kids,’’ Parata said. ‘‘There are 36 teach­ers, 32 of whom are fully reg­is­tered.

‘‘The idea that these part­ner­ship schools are full of un­reg­is­tered people is just not true.’’

She said the schools were funded as a decile 3 school would be.

Out­go­ing prin­ci­pal at Holy Fam­ily School, Karl Vasau, said part­ner­ship schools should come from the will of the com­mu­nity.

‘‘If there was a call to base one in Porirua, it should be with the back­ing of the people,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s not the fix we need in Porirua East and I want to see re­sources be­ing put into the schools that al­ready ex­ist.

‘‘We have fall­ing rolls and other is­sues that need to be con­fronted.’’

Plim­mer­ton School prin­ci­pal Mau­rice Laird said he did not like the idea of stu­dents be­ing drawn away from their cur­rent school­ing op­tions.

‘‘There are more than 30 state schools do­ing an out­stand­ing job and char­ter schools just seem the op­po­site to com­mon sense to me,’’ he said.

‘‘ It’s bizarre and I don’t think the Govern­ment should be fi­nanc­ing this model. It’s a po­lit­i­cal foot­ball and should be a pill that Na­tional should not have to swal­low.’’

Deputy mayor ’Ana Cof­fey, who is a teacher, said part­ner­ship schools were not a so­lu­tion for Porirua.

She said Porirua City Coun­cil’s re­cent de­ci­sion to be a part of the Shine ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tive – in­volv­ing large num­bers of the city’s ed­u­ca­tors – was a more pos­i­tive step.

Parata said more fo­cus should be on the per­for­mance of schools, not the type.

‘‘There are fail­ures in the main­stream sys­tem, as well as suc­cesses. I can re­mem­ber the outcry when kura and faith- based school­ing came along and look how well they per­form.

‘‘There is so much di­ver­sity in ed­u­ca­tion in New Zealand, and part­ner­ship schools are just giv­ing par­ents, par­tic­u­larly Maori and Pa­cific fam­i­lies, an­other choice.’’

She could not say whether an­other ap­pli­ca­tion for a part­ner­ship school in Porirua would be re­ceived in the fu­ture, but re­it­er­ated that it would be held up to a ro­bust process, as the Da­vidic Cen­tre Trust was.

First things first: Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Hekia Parata said there should be more em­pha­sis on the per­for­mance of a school, not its type.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.