Principals put politics before professionalism and pupils

February 12, 2018

The Principals Federation is putting politics before pupils:

”The scrapping of legislation that enabled the establishment of charter schools in New Zealand is welcomed by principals, ” said Whetu Cormick, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF).

Charter schools are an idea imported from the United States of America and are intended to privatise public education.

“Charter schools have no place in New Zealand’s education system,” said Cormick. “The former Government’s efforts to establish them as part of their overall privatisation agenda, did not get the traction they intended, despite funding the schools at a considerably higher level than public schools,” he said.

Charter, or partnership schools which is what they’re called in New Zealand, were not set up to privatise education and the former government didn’t have a privatisation agenda.

Its aim was to cater for those who don’t fit the standard school system, and it is working for most of the pupils which is more than can be said for conventional schools.

“We welcome the new Government’s direction to support a high quality public education system and the funding freed up by abolishing charter schools will help,” said Cormick. . . 

Someone speaking for a professional body should be professional not political.

It oughtn’t matter that these schools are different, what does matter is that they are making a positive difference to their pupils.

Act leader David Seymour, who instigated the establishment of the schools organised a march against the threatened closures yesterday.

Melissa Carr’s son, 15, attends Vanguard Military in Albany. She was out waving a placard saying ‘Save our Schools’.

“He’s only been at the school three weeks and he’s already thriving and dreaming big.”

Staff believed in the children and encouraged them to believe in themselves, she said.

“These kids don’t fit into the mainstream environment so why take this opportunity away from them? It’s not costing any more for these children than at a public school, we’re not costing the government anymore and why let them miss out on opportunities that they need?” . . 

The public education system simply doesn’t suit some pupils.

Rather than seeing partnership schools as competition, principals of state schools should welcome them as complementary.

But politics is getting in the way of professionalism and the pupils who are getting the help they need will pay for that.

You can sign a petition urging the government to keep the schools open.


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