Hekia Parata swallows a rat

Well, the Education Minister has done it again. ?Can’t even mange though a bit of bad press, and now she’s blinked. ?Look what the opposition and media are doing to her.

Radio New Zealand:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Minister of Education Hekia Parata should admit that a $3 million Northland charter school is a failed experiment.

Ms Parata said she has sent Te Kura Hourua Ki Whangaruru a performance notice requiring it to take immediate action on areas of serious concern.

She said she had become increasingly concerned about the cumulative failures in performance at the Whangaruru school.

These included declining enrolments, sporadic attendance and their knock-on effects on educational peformance.

Ms Parata said the Education Review Office (ERO) had found the school was not able to operate without further substantial support.

She said a specialist audit in a month’s time would assess progress.

“There’s a cumulative set of issues that they really need to turn their attention to, so it’s very clear to them what they have to do in the next 28 days, which is demonstrate that they have a remedial plan, and they have the capability to execute it.”

You can’t turn a school around in 4 weeks. ?It’s goodbye nurse. ?

Stuff:

Parata acknowledged the challenges faced by the school, which were not helped by a number of its students having been out of the school system for some time.

“However, these challenges were known by the trust when they made their proposal and later signed the contract to run the school,” she said.

“The ministry has provided support and advice over many months to the sponsor in a number of areas, including governance, management and operational matters.”

She said there had been some improvements, but they had not been sustained.

A plan had been provided by the trust to tackle the problems,?but Parata was not?satisfied it would make a difference.

“Therefore, under the agreement, I have issued a performance notice,” she said today.

“This sets out exactly what the performance failures are and what must be done to address them.”

A specialist audit would be carried out at Whangaruru in a month to assess progress.

“I intend to use the findings of the specialist audit to assist my overall judgment as to whether the failings identified are capable of being rectified.”

While charter schools were set up for the most challenged children to succeed in education, “it is our duty to ensure they do actually receive the quality of education they need to open the doors of further promise in their lives”.

Blaming the kids. ?I don’t see how that’s going to help her. ?The only and specific reason for that school to come into existence was?because they were to deal with at risk kids. ? ?Blaming the kids is just cowardly.

3 News

NZ Educational Institute president Louise Green says Ms Parata is the one who needs to take responsibility for the “dire situation”.

She has accused the minister of not listening to ministry advice which meant the school opened even though it was ill-equipped.

“This has been a disaster for the children in this charter school. They?ve paid the price for being caught up in a clash between ideological determination and good advice,” she says.

“Educators have been greatly concerned from the start about the impact, effectiveness and accountability of these privately-run and publically funded schools.”

She says it is good Ms Parata will not be asking for another round of charter school applications this year.

The government is just reeling over this. ?One again, complete mismanagement of one issue overshadowing all the good work that is going on with charter schools.

Parata delivers again.

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