Unions overwhelmed by charter school submissions

By Kate Shuttleworth

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Education unions say they have been ovewhelmed by the number of submissions they've received on legislation that paves the way for charter schools to be set up in New Zealand.

The Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) and New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) have received 1700 online submissions on the Education Amendment Bill and 800 submitters have indicated they want to address the education and science select committee.

The PPTA launched an advertising campaign in newspapers across New Zealand during the summer break alerting the public to the narrow timeframe in which they could make a submission.

The PPTA says the legislation would allow unregistered teaching staff to work in schools and that schools would not be accountable to the auditor general, ombudsman or Official Information Act.

The accountability issue could be addressed and changed in the select committee.

PPTA president Robin Duff said the association were pleased with the level of response to the advertising campaign.

He said 1000 submissions had been generated in 10 days.

"It shows the New Zealand public is deeply concerned about the shoddy way this seems to be driven through ideologically without proper consultation."

NZEI vice president Frances Guy said the response to their campaign had been positive.

"Parents, schools and communities are all saying they don't want charter schools. Outside of the Act Party, there is almost no support for this legislation."

Mr Duff has called for the education and science select committee to travel to Auckland and Christchurch to hear submissions.

"We'll be watching carefully how the five National MPs on the committee respond to these submissions as they are responsible to the voters and young people of New Zealand," he said.

- NZ Herald

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