Isaac appointment to charter school committee 'not finalised'

Catherine Isaac. Photo / Supplied
Catherine Isaac. Photo / Supplied

Act Party Minister John Banks appears to have annoyed the Government by announcing that former Act president Catherine Isaac will chair the committee to oversee the trial of two charter schools over the next three years.

Prime Minister John Key said this morning that the decision of who would lead the implementation party hadn't been finalised yet.

"But she is certainly a name that is in the mix.''

Mr Key said he might be ``one step ahead of the process''.

Mr Banks told Radio New Zealand he had appointed the chair and Education Minister Hekia Parata would appoint the other members.

When Hekia Parata was asked this morning what Catherine Isaac's role would be, she said: ``Those are the sorts of details we still need to work through.''

Annoyed as National might be, it also looks as though the Isaac appointment will be approved eventually.

Mr Key said she was intelligent and capable of doing a good job.

"They are the characteristics I am looking for.''

Catherine Isaac was No 2 on the Act party list but the party did not get enough party vote for her to be elected. She was also on the welfare working group last term.

Mr Key said her political affiliations were well known, and if people were ruled out of jobs on the basis of their political views ``you wouldn't have too many people apply for jobs''.

He dismissed criticism that she did not have a strong background in education - other than on a board of trustees _ saying that was not the single biggest issue when it came to charter schools.

"She is going to need to engage with lost of people.''

National's confidence and supply agreement with Act says the head of the committee would come from the private sector.

Charter schools can be set up by the private sector, community groups, iwi, religious groups, but funded by the Government. They operate in Britain, the United States and in the Nordic countries.

Hekia Parata said the working party and terms of reference were still being worked through with Act.

The trial schools will be set up in Christchurch and South Auckland.

- NZ Herald

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