1 Mar 2013

Charter schools board announced

6:10 pm on 1 March 2013

The Government has established a board to oversee charter schools before a select committee completes its inquiry into legislation on them.

The Education and Science select committee finished hearing submissions on Thursday on the Education Amendment Bill that, if passed, will introduce the publicly-funded private schools known as charter or partnership schools.

Associate Minister of Education John Banks, whose ACT Party instigated charter schools through its support agreement with the Government, announced the members on Friday.

Mr Banks said the board would evaluate which applications for setting up charter schools should be considered but would not make final recommendations until the parliamentary process was complete.

The Labour Party said on Friday Mr Banks has shown contempt for the democratic process by setting up the charter school board before the process is complete.

Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins said Mr Banks and National are arrogantly ploughing ahead and not listening to opposition being expressed about charter schools.

The Government intends to have charter schools open by the start of the next school year.

Board members

Catherine Isaac and Margaret Southwick, members of the working group to establish charter schools, former PricewaterhouseCoopers chairperson John Shewan and former headmaster of Auckland Grammar School John Morris, Dame Iritana Tawhirangi, Tahu Potiki and Terry Bates.