5 Jun 2013

Charter school operators to be decided within weeks

1:05 pm on 5 June 2013

The operators of the first charter schools are expected to be confirmed within eight weeks.

Legislation allowing the publicly funded private schools passed its final reading in Parliament on Tuesday night.

Thirty-five applications have been received from organisations wanting to run charter schools, including the Destiny Church.

ACT leader and Associate Education Minister John Banks says by August the field will be whittled down to between three and five, which can begin operating at the start of next year.

Mr Banks says the schools have start-up funding of $19 million over four years, which is for operations, not capital expenditure.

Charter schools will not have to employ registered teachers or follow the national curriculum, nor will they be subject to the Official Information Act or the scrutiny of the Ombudsman.

The schools are a key part of ACT's support agreement with the National-led government.

The government's Partnership Schools Authorisation Board will now use detailed criteria to decide which of the 35 applications get the go-ahead.

Chair Catherine Isaac says they will also be contracted to reach certain goals which they will be measured against.

"They will be testing new ideas, and not all of them will succeed. I hope they will, but in the event that any of them don't, then there will be a speedy path to intervention and ultimately closure."