It has become clear that the Government’s policy against partnership schools has put some of the schools that were due to open in a position where they have had to choose not to proceed, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.
“The Government’s treatment of partnership schools is unacceptable. These schools have made a positive difference for children and young people, including many young Māori.
“There were two partnership schools due to open this year and another four due to open in 2019. The Government has given these schools such limited options and has starved them of information which has caused some schools to walk away from their plans to open.
“Partnership schools have a proven track record in raising educational achievement of children and young who have struggled in mainstream education.
“Aside from the lost opportunity for these young people, there will be a cost to the Crown as a result of the planned partnership schools not going ahead.
“While I understand this is a sensitive issue, the public deserves to know what the estimated overall cost will be given the Government campaigned on closing partnership schools knowing there would be financial implications to the taxpayer.
“It’s also not surprising that the Government has yet to release the latest Martin Jenkins report which I understand shows great results. So not only is the Government hiding the costs of their ideological policy, but it’s also hiding independent reports that show how positive partnership schools are for vulnerable young people.
“Many people have stood up and supported partnership schools, including the Iwi Leaders’ Forum. Kelvin Davis talked tough in opposition but has now effectively abandoned partnership schools as demonstrated by his response to questions in the House.
“It is important to reflect on this as we have discussions at Waitangi, and in the future. As Associate Education Minister responsible for Māori education, it is disappointing that he has not helped to support schools that are making a real difference for young Māori.”