Principal scouting areas for charter schools

Mt Hobson Middle School principal Alwyn Poole. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Mt Hobson Middle School principal Alwyn Poole. Photo / Steven McNicholl

An Auckland school principal is already scouting areas to set up charter schools.

Parliament's passed the first reading of a bill that will allow the private sector to set up schools outside of the current education system structure.

Mt Hobson Middle School principal Alwyn Poole says he is looking at west Auckland and potentially Whanganui.

"At the moment we run effectively near enough to a 60 student school in a villa, and it's conceivable that we could purchase and be set up within a month for something like that. If it's a Greenfields build, that would be significantly more difficult," he said.

Mr Poole says he has run a school for the past 10 years that is a model conducive to being a partnership school.

"We run the New Zealand curriculum, and that's exactly what we will do," he said. "We run what's called a project based curriculum, in that we teach the New Zealand curriculum overtly, and the vast majority of the people involved in educating our children are registered, fully qualified teachers."

Alwyn Poole says there aren't significant profits to be made, because he runs the school as a charitable trust and partnership schools will be run that way as well.

But extreme fears are being raised about the impact charter schools may have on the quality of education.

Green MP Catherine Delahunty is worried about the types of schools that might be established under the system.

"Pepsi-cola High's on its way, not to mention the Destiny homophobia classes. You know, it's all possible. This is going to be more expensive, more risky and lower quality," she said.

- Newstalk ZB

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