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.”