“Today in Question Time, the Prime Minister repeated her assertion that Partnership Schools can stay open if they operate within the same budget, use registered teachers, and teach the New Zealand curriculum”, says ACT Party Leader David Seymour.
“What Bill English should have asked the PM, is ‘Given Partnership Schools meet these requirements, is she confirming they will stay open without further changes?
“Then he might have asked, ‘why is her Minister of Education subjecting the schools to such uncertainty?’ given that the schools have been given little indication of their future to date.
“As the former Under Secretary responsible for the policy, and someone who helped design the original legislation, I am happy to say they are already doing these things!
“All Partnership Schools operate within the same budget as state schools with similar students.
“While the legislation allows Partnership Schools to teach an alternative curriculum, it must map to the principles of the New Zealand curriculum.
“Cabinet agreed in 2012 thata Partnership School could employ teachers not registered with the Education Council in order so long as those students had the “skills, qualifications and experience” to assist in students’ learning.
“It would be regrettble to lose this feature of the Partnership School policy. It has allowed, for instance, a retired Air Force Engineer to teach children engineering at Vanguard Military School. I have met him, seen him teach, and he is an inspiration.
“We welcome the National Party’s newfound enthusiasm for Partnership Schools. Perhaps the PM would be a convert, too, if only she knew how they worked.”