Faces of the day

Wikitoria Thompson and her daughter Trinity, left, say they’re praying that charter schools would remain open in 2019.

“Where will I go? Where will I fit in Mum?”

Those were the questions year-nine student Trinity asked her mother Wikitoria Thompson when she found out her charter school’s contract was being terminated at the end of this year by the Government.

Middle School West Auckland (MSWA) and nine other charter schools across New Zealand received contract termination letters on June 7, even before finding out if their applications to remain open as a special character school for next year was approved.

Ministry of Education said it would have a decision by July 31 but that’s meant Trinity and more than 1000 students enrolled in charter schools were left in limbo about their future.

Thompson said for now, all they could do was wait.[…]

“Trinity’s scared, I’m scared for her ? she really wants to remain at Middle School West Auckland until she finishes high school.”

Thompson said she had seen a vast improvement in Trinity’s school work and self esteem after she joined MSWA three years ago.

“She came from a school where she was bullied, she was constantly sad and didn’t like teachers.

“But now, she brings home?books to read and talks about them.?My daughter never does that. She’s not a shy, sad girl anymore ? she’s stronger, outspoken. She even goes to school sick, that’s how much she loves it there.”

MSWA community liaison manager Tamzin Cook said their school roll was made up of many students from low socio economic homes and some who had been excluded or expelled from other schools.

Charter schools gave these students a chance to learn again, she said.

“It’s the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen. A?lot of these families are wondering what’s going to happen to their child next year,” Cook said.

“It’s just added stress about not knowing if they should look for a new school or not.”[…]