Will Hipkins revise charter school ‘failed experiment’ stance?

ERO: “a good start providing education for young Maori”

Peeni Henare: “I’ve seen the outcomes they’ve achieved ”

Chris Hipkins: “The whole charter school concept is deeply flawed”.

Who is right?

Two weeks agop Chris Hiopkins, Labour’s Education spokesperson, posted GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD FOR FAILED EXPERIMENT:

The whole charter school concept is deeply flawed.

“Labour has been very clear. We will direct any additional funding towards programmes that address underachievement in our existing public school system. Throwing money at low quality, hurriedly established, experimental charter schools has to stop,” Chris Hipkins says.

However puts him at odds with two Labour MPs with education backgrounds, Kelvin Davis and Peeni Henare.

Divisions in Labour over charter schools policy

Labour MP for Tāmaki-Makaurau Peeni Henare and his colleague, Kelvin Davis, attended a fundraiser for the He Puna Marama Trust, which has set up a charter school in Whangarei.

Mr Davis told 3News at the fundraiser that his leader, Andrew Little, did not want the Labour MPs to attend the event.

Mr Henare told Radio New Zealand that he knew all the people involved in both the trust and the kura itself, including the students.

“I support that particular charter school, and the reason I do that is that I’ve seen kaupapa grow from the fetal stages all the way to what they have today and I’ve seen the outcomes they’ve achieved and that’s I why I support that particular kaupapa.”

This is also backed by an official review:

The Education Review Office’s report on the kura, released in February, found it had made a good start providing education for young Maori, and that senior students were making pleasing progress.

So the whole partnership school concept appears to not be deeply flawed.

Will Hipkins review his stance on charter schools?

Leave a comment


  1. DaveG

     /  1st September 2015

    No, I don’t believe Labour will change its stance on charter schools, the co-owners of labour, the u ions tell Labour and in particular Andy what to do and think, charter schools do not need union members, so the teachers unions rightly see Charter schools as a direct threat to their future survival. Angry Andy will be told, he wil pass the instructions down to Hipkins with interest.

    Now, here is an interesting point, Henare and Davis have given National a wedge to drive division in Labour, I just hope National use it sensibly. Henare and Davis both have community interest in charter schools in their electorate plus in Whanau / Iwi. They are between a rock and a hard place, break the community spirit and risk not being re-elected in 2017 or continue to wave a finger at Labour, Hipkins and the teachers unions. If they are not reflected, Andy is history, if he lasts that long.

  2. Bill Courtney

     /  1st September 2015

    The charter school concept is flawed.

    “Prof John Hattie’s research underlines that point, saying the effect of charters is “miniscule” and it would be better to focus on quality teaching and expertise.”
    Quoted in the NZ Herald, 14 August 2015.

    The problem here is that people cannot distinguish between the “model” or “concept” and the range of successes or failures of individual schools.

    The jury is still out on the school in question in this item, but the variety of outcomes from the first 5 schools already shows that the “model” has not worked.

    • DaveG

       /  1st September 2015

      Bill. The basis of Prof Hatties article is flawed. Lets NOT forget, the existing traditional schools, withtheir outdated and fixed teaching methods had FAILED most kids who left to go to a charter school.

      You have also failed to disclose you are pro unions, and run the Save Our Schools website, and activist regime. You also grossly dislike the model of Tomorrows Schools, so please tell me what is it you like. But, please also admit, the standard of Education in NZ, is world class, and leading the world considering SOME of the ferals who arrive to be educated. I have seen first hand the systems in NZ, and in Aussie, and in Both cases, the closer to a free market, NO unions, less government involvement, the better the results. The Catholic systemin Aussie is a great example of Success, and the Govt spends far less on that than state schools AFTER the cost of capital and maintenance of land and buildings is accounted for.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  1st September 2015

      The competitive model works because the worst fail and the best succeed. The bureaucratic model fails because the worst don’t fail and just go on keeping on badly. Your comment shoes a sad lack of understanding.

    • Missy

       /  1st September 2015

      Are you the same Bill Courtney that wrote an anti charter school post for The Daily Blog?

  3. kittycatkin

     /  1st September 2015

    One can’t say that all charter schools are a flop because one is.

    • We could make funding only available to those that teach the full curiculum, or black list/ defund those that teach some alternative subjects, such as Intelligent Design/Creationism/Woo Woo of any description.

  4. Missy

     /  1st September 2015

    Hipkins does not come across to me as really caring about what is best for the children in this country, or helping them to succeed. He seems to parrot the PPTA stance on matters, and ignores anything that does not fit his narrative. If he truly had the best interests of the children at his core he would support those organisations who are looking at ways of improving the success rates of the students that are failing in the current system.

  5. TomG

     /  2nd September 2015

    Achieving outcomes is a bit beside the point, charter schools are sold on their “efficiency”. They have been giving tax payers money hand over fist to run these places. Could the same outcomes be achieved by a state school for less money? How much could be achieved by a state school with this much funding?

    • jaspa

       /  3rd September 2015

      Achieving outcomes is quite an important point, actually. State schools have already had a go with these kids, and failed them. And I think you will find that charters schools receive equal or less funding than many state schools, if you look at the real figures.


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