Ardern admits to caving to teacher union demands

ACT party

Jacinda Ardern has finally admitted it: Labour scrapped charter schools because its mates and financial backers, the teachers’ unions, demanded it. The prime minister said on TVNZ’s Breakfast yesterday morning: ‘The [teachers’ unions] were worried about charter schools, so we got rid of that.’ See for yourself here or below.

The prime minister promised to put kindness back into politics. Instead she ended an innovative education model that was engaging disadvantaged children underserved by the state system to appease middle-class unionists in Wellington. What a disgrace.

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An independent report completed by Martin Jenkins showed charter schools were heavily focused on disadvantaged children with complex needs – mainly Maori and Pasifika students in low decile areas. Student and whanau engagement in charter schools was strong. Charter schools were offering a real choice for students who had been failed by state schools.

ACT demanded that the government look at this evidence before ending charter schools. It didn’t bother. It was too busy doing the bidding of the teachers’ unions. Charter schools were a golden opportunity to improve the inequalities in our education system. What a waste.

ACT believes that one-size-fits-all education has failed. We need greater innovation and parents need real choice.