21 Apr 2013

Minister plans no charter school bill changes

9:17 am on 21 April 2013

The Education Minister is indicating she won't be making any changes to the legislation governing charter schools despite now having to rely solely on the Maori Party for support for the bill.

United Future leader Peter Dunne indicated on Thursday he was withdrawing support for the bill, saying he is extremely concerned about how the schools would be run.

Under the present provisions, charter schools will not have to follow the national curriculum or be required to employ registered teachers, nor will they be subject to the Ombudsman's Act or the Official Information Act.

The Maori Party will continue to back the legislation, though it says it would like to see all charter school teachers and staff hold qualifications for the subjects they are teaching.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says the organisations setting up the schools have to say how many staff will have teaching qualifications, but they are not compulsory.

Ms Parata says she sees no need to change the current provisions.

"I'm comfortable with the features of the partnership schools as they've been outlined and as they've been reported back to the House and I look forward to the further debate that will occur there."

Labour's education spokesperson Chris Hipkins is encouraging the Maori Party to use its new found influence.

He urges it to pull the pin on charter schools which he says will not improve educational outcomes for Maori and Pacific students.