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More charter school applications wanted

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/02/2017

People wanting to set up charter schools are being invited to apply in a new funding round.

Round Five opens on Monday, with successful applicants opening schools in 2019, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education David Seymour says.

It's the first application round allowing tertiary education institutions to sponsor charter schools and is expected to deliver five new schools.

Charter schools - the government calls them partnership schools - were set up under ACT's support agreement with the government.

They can be run by business, church or community groups and can set their own curriculum.

They don't have to hire registered teachers and tailor their teaching for students who were failing or under-achieving in state schools.

Teacher unions and the Labour Party fiercely oppose them, and Labour has vowed to abolish them if it wins the election

Last week Mr Seymour said Vanguard Military School, a charter school, had delivered NCEA results above the national average for its Maori and Pasifika students.

The school is run on military lines with strict discipline.

"With over 1000 students now enrolled in ten partnership schools, it's clear that there is real demand from families and educators for these educational alternatives," says Mr Seymour.

"More students deserve opportunities beyond those offered by the state school system. That's why for round five, we welcome two types of applications. Applications can have a STEM science, technology, engineering, mathematics focus, or a priority learner focus."

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