4 Jun 2013

Charter schools legislation passes final hurdle

9:38 pm on 4 June 2013

Legislation enacting charter schools has passed its third and final reading in Parliament.

The publicly-funded private schools will not have to employ registered teachers, nor follow the national curriculum or be subject to the scrutiny of the Official Information Act or the Ombudsman.

On Tuesday night, legislation to bring charter schools into force was passed by 62 votes to 57, with the support of the National Party, ACT and the Maori Party.

The schools are a key part of ACT's support agreement with National. ACT leader John Banks said the passage of the legislation is a landmark moment.

"This is the highest tide in sea change education policy for this country since Tomorrow's Schools 25 years ago. It is a great day for the underprivileged, the poor, the dispossessed and the long tale of failure - institutionalised failure - in education."

The first charter schools are expected to begin operating at the start of 2014.