Vanguard Military School to become ‘designated character school’

The Vanguard Military School in Albany near Auckland is the first Partnership School to convert to a ‘designated character school’, which is the only survival option under new Government requirements. Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Labour have always been strongly against charter schools.

Vanguard to become designated character school

“Vanguard Military School was the first of 11 charter schools currently operating to put in an application to become part of the state system under section 156 of the Education Act 1989, and now it’s the first to be approved,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The school will use the ethos and training methodology of the military across the curriculum and in the day-to-day running of the school, to achieve attitudinal and academic excellence. This will form part of its designated character. It will also continue to have a special focus on ‘second chance’ students.”

The application was assessed by the Ministry of Education, and consultation with the boards of schools in the Auckland network whose rolls might be affected has taken place.

“After considering the assessment and the consultation responses, I have decided to approve the school,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The application met the requirements of the Act and demonstrated that students who choose to enrol will get an education of a kind that differs significantly from the education they would get at ·an ordinary state school.”

The new school will initially be located at the site of the current school, while the Ministry works with the Establishment Board of Trustees to locate a permanent site.

“I am pleased with the willingness of Vanguard’s sponsors to work with the Ministry to achieve this outcome, which means that students and the wider school community now have certainty for 2019 and beyond.

“The new school will retain key features of the current charter school, but with the added benefit of the support and protections that are provided within the state education system,” Chris Hipkins said.

So Vanguard will remain similar under a different label.

Another announcement yesterday on the transition from Partnership Schools (Hipkins seems to insist on calling them charter schools):

As the next step in the transition of charter schools into the state school system, the formal process to end charter school contracts is starting today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.

As the next step in the transition of charter schools into the state school system, the formal process to end charter school contracts is starting today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.

“As I announced last week, all existing charter schools have applied to become part of the state school system, and I will make a decision on these applications by the end of July,” Mr Hipkins said.

“My preference is still to reach mutual agreement with the charter schools on ending the contracts, and the Ministry of Education will continue to discuss this with the schools.  A formal notice would only take effect if they are unable to reach agreement.

“The formal notice I am giving today confirms that I intend their contracts to finish at the end of the 2018 school year. This is a legal process that is required under the contracts.  It is separate from decisions on their applications to become part of the state school system.

“Ending the contracts requires six months’ notice to be given, and can only take effect at the end of a school year.

“Each charter school has 10 business days when they may ask me to review this.  If I then decide to proceed with ending the contract, the school won’t continue to operate as a charter school beyond this year unless this is mutually agreed.

“The priority is to ensure a smooth transition for schools and their students.

“I am considering additional measures to support charter schools to make a successful transition into the state system, and details are currently being worked through.”

“Contracts with the sponsors of three unopened charter schools have already been ended.  This includes Blue Light Ventures, which was due to open in 2018, and City Senior School and Vanguard Military School Christchurch, which were due to open in 2019.”

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29 Comments

  1. David

     /  May 16, 2018

    What a relief for the teachers unions, good value for money for their campaign support.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 16, 2018

      Nice to see you complimenting the teachers unions on a job well done for a change, David Blue. 👍🏼

      Does this herald a change of attitude? 🤔

      Reply
  2. lurcher1948

     /  May 16, 2018

    The bribe to ACT sweep away with a stroke of a pen

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 16, 2018

    Fascist government by ministerial fiat. Needs Redbaiter and a lamppost.

    Reply
  4. Bill Courtney

     /  May 16, 2018

    In other words, what’s all the fuss about?

    Given the flexibility that has always been present in the New Zealand education system, it was never made clear what the American charter school model would ever have really added to the New Zealand system. There was never any evidence put forward to support the policy in the first place.

    Now the schools will change to either State or State-Integrated schools and carry on mainly unchanged, thereby proving that the charter school model was never really necessary.

    It was only union hatred that drove this ideology in the first place. One of the great ironies is watching as increasing numbers of teachers in US charter schools move to unionise to protect themselves against the poor pay and conditions they are often working under.

    Go figure.

    Reply
    • One could also ask what all the fuss about Partnership Schools was about before this change of window dressing.

      Reply
      • Bill Courtney

         /  May 16, 2018

        It’s not window dressing, Pete. The schools will now be governed by public bodies – Boards of Trustees – and not privately by their Sponsors. So the privatisation of the public education system has just been stopped.

        Reply
        • But will it improve anything?

          They seemed to be working ok as they were.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  May 16, 2018

            ”They seemed to be working ok as they were.”

            No they weren’t. Marxist idealogues didn’t have an input. That’s bad. Some of these charter schools were delivering stellar all-round education results. That’s bad, too.

            Of more importance to me – is National going to bring back the status quo after regaining power in 2020? National need to provide a clear policy statement.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  May 16, 2018

              Email the wimp in charge of their crew then.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  May 16, 2018

              National have been pretty clear on this:

              “National Party leader Simon Bridges said a future National-led Government would “absolutely” bring back charter schools.”

              http://www.radiolive.co.nz/home/articles/the-am-show/2018/04/david-seymour–scrapping-charter-schools-will–end–jacinda-arde.html

            • Corky

               /  May 16, 2018

              Great to hear. But…will National have the resolve to re-legislate for charter schools, especially if Seymour isn’t around at the next election?

            • PartisanZ

               /  May 16, 2018

              That’s the really interesting question here IMHO: Do National need ACT any longer … at all?

              They can easily win Epsom themselves …

              Seymour may have given ACT and Far-Right National supporters ‘Partnership Schools’ – although its difficult to see this in the generally publicized demographic of Charter School parents and students being poor and brown – but since then all he’s done is threaten his own constituency’s Christian Conservatism with ‘End of Life Choice’ and support of cannabis law reform …

              The guy’s become a liability to whoever voted for him … Freedom loving Rich White Folks who have nothing to do with the Partnership Schools they supported at the ballot … and who’ve always had private schools to send their kids to anyhow …

              Window dressing the window dressing …?

        • Grimm

           /  May 16, 2018

          Most parents would choose a private school if they really had the choice.

          Be interesting to know how many kids of Labour MPs have been to private schools.

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 16, 2018

          Splendid. So public schools will no longer depend on private companies for anything. They will be built, maintained, staffed and supplied by public servants and bureaucrats. That way they will be kept pure for socialism and the harvesting of young minds.

          Of course they won’t have any computers, books, pens or pretty much anything else.

          Reply
    • Grimm

       /  May 16, 2018

      “It was only union hatred that drove this ideology in the first place”

      That’s correct. They are hated for good reasons. They are an old style mafia protection racket for shit teachers, and they stifle innovation at every turn.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  May 16, 2018

        Nearly downticked you for swearing but I’m letting you off seeing you got so emotional about it yesterday.

        Is it teachers that stifle innovation – or Education Ministry rules and regs?

        Reply
        • Grimm

           /  May 16, 2018

          In every school you will find a few vocal unionised teachers who petulantly object to every change. They see their role as protectors of the status quo, or something. If the board or principal push the issue, whatever it may be, they find themselves bogged down in correspondence from and meetings with, the union. Nothing changes. Good example of this would be the uptake of technology in classrooms, which in my view took a decade longer than it needed to. The union tail always wags the dog in schools.

          I’ve been on three school boards as my kids progressed through them. It’s an eye opener on the racket that the unions run.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  May 16, 2018

            My nephew is a science teacher, currently, & probably permanently, living in Maryland, USA, and married to a US teacher who did her Masters in Wellington at the same time as he was doing his there.

            She taught internet & in particular developing tablet technology at Tawa College, not far from me, while doing her Masters, & they and the school principal loved it with a passion, I heard, but some of the older teachers were not the friendliest or most enthusiastic.So, I think you are right.

            They both detest Trump, by the way, so they’ve got a few clues.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  May 16, 2018

              Both teaching in private schools there now, I think. The pupils of rich parents are a challenge neph says because they’re not interested in learning. They expect to go into dad’s business & inherit and have an attitude the can hire someone to do anything for them. Mind you he’s a Kiwi & a DIYer & he’s from The Naki, like most of us with a few clues.

          • duperez

             /  May 16, 2018

            So “in every school you will find a few vocal unionised teachers who petulantly object to every change.” Your experience allows you to comment on every school?

            You were on three school boards as your kids went through. You had your eyes opened so much in those three schools in your years on those boards that you say the unions are running a racket. In all schools?

            Specifically, what did you see that constituted ‘running a racket’?

            Bogged down in correspondence from and meetings with the union? What about? My experience with our kids through three schools is totally different than that.

            The uptake of technology in classrooms taking a decade longer than it needed to is an interesting point. I saw schools in mad rushes to be seen to be ‘leading the pack’ being sucked into expensive projects around computers. They tried to impress the people of their districts that they were modern, up-to-date, forward looking. The headlong rush undoubtedly saw lots of money wasted.

            You intimate that some union tail was wagging the dog in schools to not allow or at least slow the introduction of new technology in schools. My experience has teacher enthusiasts driving the introduction of computers in schools with principals wanting to be seen to be up-to-date being part of a fervour for change.

            Reply
            • Grimm

               /  May 16, 2018

              The racket is this: The prevailing narrative from teachers, unions, and largely in the community, is that teachers are mostly excellent at their jobs. For that to be true, they would have to be more excellent as a percentage than in any other job. They’re human after all. The narrative is that the teacher in front of your little Jane, is the best person possible. That’s unlikely to be the case for many. In fact, let’s say that just 10% of teachers are actually just not very good, you would have no idea, and they may stay in front of kids for decades (can’t get rid of them or pay them less, so there is no signal to parents) That’s thousands and thousands of kids that interact with them.

              Are the teachers that have been in front of your kids any good? The best? How would you know? What would/could you do about it if you knew?

              We know that educational outcomes are strongly correlated with teacher quality. But you have no measure of quality. It’s deliberatly kept from you. That’s the racket.

            • duperez

               /  May 16, 2018

              Oh, I thought you meant ‘racket’ as in something sinister. If the ‘prevailing narrative” some put out is that Simon Bridges is outstanding, or Jacinda Ardern is wonderful I suppose you call those a racket.

              You have no measure of quality? It’s deliberately kept from you? That’s a racket? How would you measure quality? The teacher who has children who reach the highest reading ages? (in primary school) The one whose kids mightn’t have the highest reading ages but have made the best progress? The one whose kids fit neither of those groups but the teacher had kids with severe learning and behaviour problems? The one whose kids have just okay scores but the kids come out as great problem solvers and are thoughtful, co-operative and compassionate?

              A tally chart sent to parents so nothing is kept from parents? All the details in the newsletter and in the school foyer?

  5. Grimm

     /  May 16, 2018

    Most parents would choose a private school if they really had the choice.

    Be interesting to know how many kids of Labour MPs have been to private schools.

    Reply
  6. Zedd

     /  May 16, 2018

    the new Govt. laid the agenda for these charter schools, to continue as a ‘designated character’ school.. all good; the tories need to get with the program & cut the fear-mongering out !

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 16, 2018

      I just heard some young sheila on RNZ talking aboud anutha song that’s been nominaded.
      Any school that teaches English correctly gets an uptick from me. State schools have obviously been teaching Thicklish for 3 decades.

      Reply
  7. Revel

     /  May 16, 2018

    “character school”? Sounds like some sort of special needs tag euphemism for where we put the thick kids. Well done Labour.

    Reply
  1. Vanguard Military School to become ‘designated character school’ — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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