Media Releases

NZEI Te Riu Roa opposes expensive charter school experiment

25 Jun 2024

NZEI Te Riu Roa opposes the Education and Training Amendment Act legislation introduced to Parliament today which makes provisions for charter schools and allows the Minister to force public schools to convert to charter schools.

Lynda Stuart, principal of May Road School says that principals, teachers and whānau want learning support and for resourcing that will meet children’s needs instead.

“At a time when principals, teachers and whānau are crying out for more specialist learning support for mokopuna, for more teacher aides in classrooms, the National-led Government are putting $153m into an experiment, an experiment that failed last time it was in government.”

“This is not prioritising children’s education; this is not visionary education policy that will meet the needs of these learners.”

"Our education system is already very diverse; we already have the ability to become special character schools so why waste money on charter schools when evidence overseas and here says they don’t shift the dial for children.”

“An example of the diversity in our system can be seen at our school; we set up a bilingual Samoan unit in our school because the parents wanted the option of bilingualism for their children. We did not have to go outside the state sector to do this. The school is enriched by it, our children are enriched by it, and the school is being responsive to its community, not being driven by for-profit companies who will see charter schools as an easy addition to their portfolios.”

“We want to meet the needs of all our tamariki but we need the resourcing to do this.”