Time for a number of Christchurch schools to learn what the Government has in store for them. Earlier this year interim decisions for education restructuring in the city were made, seeing 19 schools closed or merged, and 12 kept open. Education Minister Hekia Parata will announce her final decisions on the proposals in Christchurch this afternoon.
"And whilst on the subject of Hekia Parata, a sensible decision not to appeal the High Court decision on Phillipstown School. If she had done that, Matthew Doocey would kiss goodbye to any chance of denting Labour's Chch East majority. It's taken a while, but there might be hope for Hekia yet after a rough couple of years where she has had the reverse Midas touch."
To no-one’s surprise the Ombudsman has found that John Banks, the ‘official’ champion of charter schools (yeah, right – another story), had withheld information without valid reason, including: ‘Charter schools would get money for set up costs and property funding that their private-sector backers would be able to keep if a school folded.’ Excuse me? Overseas corporates will get paid to set up regimes to enable them to take profits from New Zealand children? Risk free and taxpayer funded?
Education Minister Hekia Parata recommended that Wanganui Collegiate should not be integrated into the state system, but she was rolled by her Cabinet colleagues. If integration had not gone ahead, the private school would have closed last year, documents obtained under the Official Information Act show. Instead, it will now receive $3.1 million a year from the taxpayer, despite an oversupply of 1400 places in the state school system in the region.
For some, there’s a striking echo in how Education Minister Hekia Parata talks about the Government’s new “unrelenting focus on raising achievement for all students”. Last year, she set an explicit target that by 2017, at least 85% of 18-year-olds would have NCEA Level 2 or its equivalent. Already, 100% pass rates are not uncommon, and the 2012 NCEA results, released last month, show pass rates steadily tracking u