Suspend charter schools, not students

The Government must cancel plans to open seven more charter schools, as serious concerns are raised about the results of those schools already opened, the Green Party said today.

Most of the annual reports of the Partnership Schools already opened have been published today. The reports have been criticised for not providing information that’s comparable with state schools, including roll-based results for NCEA. Some schools had unacceptably high rates of suspensions and expulsions, and about half failed to meet all their agreed targets.

“There is no evidence that charter schools are delivering for the vulnerable kids who are enrolled, and enough concerns have been raised to justify cancelling plans to open any new charters,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“One of the most troubling revelations in the reports is the large number of kids who’ve been kicked out or suspended from charter schools.

“Kicking kids out of school is not a solution to educational underachievement. The Minister should be suspending the charter school experiment, not suspending vulnerable kids.

“These annual reports are puff pieces generated to drive PR, rather than to meaningfully report on the progress of the children within the charter schools.

“It is completely irresponsible for the National Government to be funding more of these experimental schools, while at the same time freezing funding for public schools.

“The state education system needs funding, not for that money to be diverted into charter schools.

“Freezing operation funding for schools in the 2016 Budget to make money available for charter schools was a mistake, and today’s results should have the Minister questioning that decision,” Ms Delahunty said. 

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