13 Apr 2013

Labour unhappy with restrictions on scrutiny of charter schools

9:42 pm on 13 April 2013

Labour Party education spokesperson, Chris Hipkins, says the lack of scrutiny of planned charter schools is not good enough.

A select committee considering the Education Amendment Bill has recommended that charter schools be subject to the oversight of the Ombudsman.

But Mr Hipkins says the changes allowing some oversight of charter schools by the Ombudsman are inadequate.

He says the only thing the Ombudsman can do is scrutinise cases where a student is suspended, but the wider powers of the office will not apply, and nor will schools be subject to the Official Information Act which he says is unacceptable.

Green doubts over accountability

Meanwhile, the Green Party says it doubts the government will move further to improve Charter schools' accountability.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says financial issues are excluded from scrutiny despite the schools being funded with public money.

She says she doubts that will change, as the schools are being set up to satisfy a political deal between ACT and the government.