December 16, 2015
Whangaruru charter school to close
The troubled charter school at Whangaruru is set to close, with Education Minister Hekia Parata saying it failed to improve the quality of teaching being offered.
Te Pumanawa o te Wairua opened two years ago in the first round of publicly-funded private schools, with its trust spending much of the $1.6 million establishment grant on a farm which was supposed to form the basis of its curriculum.
But problems with staffing and governance have beset the school.
Ms Parata says it managed to turn around its governance and steady its financial position, but an Education Review Office audit she commissioned in October found the quality of teaching and learning was not up to standard.
The Education Ministry will look for other options for the 39 students.
NZEI Te Riu Roa national secretary Paul Goulter says the decision to establish and fund the school was based on ideology and political agendas instead of on the best interests of children and their education.
He says it was obvious from the beginning that the Whangaruru school and its backers were ill-equipped to take on the task of running a school.
Mr Goulter says what is needed is a well-funded public education system that is accountable and gives all students the best chance of success, rather than further ideological experiments.
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