Banks announces charter schools authorisation board

By Kate Shuttleworth

Catherine Isaac - chairwoman of the charter schools working group. Photo / Supplied
Catherine Isaac - chairwoman of the charter schools working group. Photo / Supplied

Associate Education Minister John Banks has announced a high-powered team to approve applications for charter schools.

The charters schools authorisation board will be chaired by charter school working group chairwoman and former Act president Catherine Isaac.

Former head of PricewaterhouseCoopers and chairman of Fonterra Shareholders Fund Management Company John Shewan will be deputy chairman of the board.

Other board members include former Auckland Grammar principal John Morris and Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, a pioneers of the kohanga reo movement.

The board will evaluate applications by groups wanting to set up charter schools based on a formula for evaluation which hasn't been created yet.

It will then make recommendations to Education Minister Hekia Parata on which applications should be considered for contract negotiations.

"No final recommendations will be made by the board until the parliamentary process is complete," Mr Banks said.

Ms Isaac told the education and science committee that 34 expressions of interest had been received but she would not release them, saying they were commercially sensitive.

Labour's education spokesman Chris Hipkins said the appointment of the board showed "contempt for the democratic process" when the education and science committee had not reported back to Parliament.

Mr Hipkins said there were still six weeks left to consider submissions and it was premature for Mr Banks to appoint a board.

The board:

* Catherine Isaac, chairwoman - chairwoman of the charter schools working group, formerly on the Government's welfare working group, the board of Wellington College, Clifton Terrace Model School, Wellington Community Trust and the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary.

* John Shewan, deputy chairman - chairman of Fonterra Shareholders Fund Management Company, former chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Adjunct Professor of accounting at Victoria University.

* Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi - Kohanga Reo movement pioneer, including 13 years as chief executive of Te Kohanga reo National Trust Board. Has served on a number of government advisory groups and working parties.

* John Morris - Former principal of Auckland Grammar and Takapuna Grammar for 22 years. Currently on the board of Education NZ.

* Dr Margaret Southwick - a member of the charter schools working group, former dean of Whitirea Community Polytechnic's Faculty of Health and director of the Pacific Health Research Centre.

* Tahu Potiki - experience includes five years as the chief executive of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and four years in the senior executive position at Christchurch Polytechnic. Currently independent chairman and governance adviser for the Otago Whanau Ora Maori Provider Collective.

* Terry Bates - chief executive of Cognition Education, has a background in public sector education.

- APNZ

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