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South Auckland charter school fears closure

12 February 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News, In The Studio,

A charter school in South Auckland fears the Government's announcement on ending national standards and charter schools will affect the learning of Pacific and Maori students the most.

South Auckland Middle School. Photo/

The Education Minister Chris Hipkins introduced the Education Amendment Bill last week, aiming to close all charter schools by mutual agreement by the end of the year.

Community Liaison Manager at South Auckland Middle School, Mulitalo Filipo Levi, says it's bad news for their Pacific and Maori families.

"The majority of families that go to charter schools are Maori and Pasifika... The long tail of brown under-achievement is Maori and Pasifika. It's a system issue that impacts thousand of students everyday."

He says they're due to meet with the Ministry of Education some time this week but he's hoping Pacific MPs can step in and help.

"We're waiting for the Minister for Pacific Peoples and all those people, Carmel Sepuloni, to come and speak to us to calm our fears for the families and the children that choose these schools."

Watch full interview with Mulitalo Filipo Levi:

Meanwhile, leader for the  Act Party says it will keep fighting to protect charter schools.

MP for Epsom David Seymour, is calling on the government to put party politics aside and support educational opportunities for kids through charter schools.

Currently, 1500 students attend charter schools and may be forced to look elsewhere if the government goes ahead with plans to close them.

Seymour says charter schools are working and kids who struggle at school are having their lives turned around.

"The reason they work is they have the flexibility to operate their way. They control their own funding, they can employ their own teachers without union contracts. This allows them to offer quite different education that gets kids engaged when those kids often weren't even attending school, when enrolled in the state sector."

Tags: education,