Vanguard Military School has become the first charter school to get approval to become a "designated character" state school.

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says the Albany-based school will reopen as a state school next year, and is likely to expand to become a full secondary school covering all Years 9 to 13.

"Vanguard Military School was the first of 11 charter schools currently operating to put in an application to become part of the state system under section 156 of the Education Act 1989, and now it's the first to be approved," he said.

"The school will use the ethos and training methodology of the military across the curriculum and in the day-to-day running of the school, to achieve attitudinal and academic excellence. This will form part of its designated character. It will also continue to have a special focus on 'second chance' students."


Hipkins said the application was assessed by the Ministry of Education, and consultation with the boards of schools in the Auckland network whose rolls might be affected had taken place.

"The application met the requirements of the Act and demonstrated that students who choose to enrol will get an education of a kind that differs significantly from the education they would get at an ordinary state school," he said.

Vanguard Military School will open in Term 1 2019 for Year 11-13 students initially, before growing to Years 9-13 once the Education Review Office has confirmed it is ready to provide schooling for students in Years 9-10.

An Establishment Board of Trustees has been appointed to ensure that the new school is ready to open in 2019.

The new school will initially be located at the site of the current school, while the Ministry works with the Establishment Board of Trustees to locate a permanent site.

Hipkins has promised to decide by July 31 on applications from nine other charter schools to convert to designated character state schools.

Another charter school, Te Kura Māori o Waatea in Māngere, and a school that had been approved to open as a charter school next year in Gisborne, Tūranga Tangata Rite, have applied to become integrated schools similar to Catholic schools.