12 May 2013

Banks says charter schools will be big success

10:56 am on 12 May 2013

Associate Education Minister John Banks says charter schools will be a big success, changing the way education is run in New Zealand.

The Education Amendment Bill would allow the private sector to run state-funded schools with more flexibility on teaching, employment and hours of operation. The establishment of the schools is is part of the ACT party's support agreement with National.

Speaking on TVNZ's Q+A programme on Sunday, Mr Banks welcomed the Maori Party's decision to support the charter schools legislation and dismissed the opposition from teacher unions.

Mr Banks said the unions are worried the charter schools will be a big success, changing the paradigm for education.

The ACT leader said New Zealand shouldn't accept the current system in which 20% of students are failures.

Banks will contest next election

Meanwhile, Mr Banks says he will be standing again at the next election in his Epsom electorate.

He is the sole ACT party MP after the party's support slumped in the 2011 election and described himself as being in the twilight of his political career, which stretches back 36 years.

But he said he will be standing again because the public want a committed coalition partner for National, rather than a Labour-Green government.

Mr Banks says he remains passionate about ACT 's principles of freedom, choice and responsibility.