30 Jun Four new Partnership Schools to open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015.

“These new schools will help raise educational achievement, in particular for those groups of students who have for a long time been under-served by the mainstream system,” Ms Parata says.

“We have a number of different types of schools operating in New Zealand, such as faith-based schools, single-sex schools, Māori medium kura and independent schools. Partnership Schools are another option, giving parents and students more freedom to choose the type of education that works for them.”

The four new Partnership Schools are:

  • Te Kura Māori o Waatea: sponsored by the Manukau Urban Māori Authority. The school will be a co-educational primary school (Year 1-8) in Mangere, South Auckland.
  • Pacific Advance Senior School: sponsored by The Pacific Peoples’ Advancement Trust. The school will be a co-educational senior secondary school (Year 11-13) in Otahuhu, South Auckland.
  • Middle School West Auckland: sponsored by the Villa Education Trust. The school will be a co-educational middle school (Year 7-10) in West Auckland.
  • Te Kāpehu Whetū (Teina): sponsored by He Puna Marama Charitable Trust. The school will be a co-educational primary school (Year 1-6) in Whangarei.

The Government will invest $15.5 million over four years to establish these four schools, which take the total number of Partnership Schools to nine, out of more than 2500 schools in New Zealand. 

“There are 350 children enrolled in the first five Partnership Schools we have opened, with parents recognising the opportunity they represent,” Ms Parata says.

“Students I have talked to when I have visited these schools have told me they are enjoying their new school and the possibilities for their futures they now see. Teachers also tell me the students are doing much better than they have in their previous schools.”

An independent evaluation on how the Partnership Schools model is performing is currently being conducted by Martin Jenkins Ltd, with the first report due next year.

“Partnership Schools have contracts with the Crown to deliver a range of specified school-level targets aimed at raising student achievement.”

No further rounds are proposed while the evaluation is undertaken.

Editor's notes:

  • The Ministry of Education will be releasing further information in the near future about the application and approval process and the decision making process.
  • 19 applications were received by the Ministry for the second round of Partnership School funding. They were assessed by the Partnership Schools Authorisation Board and by the Ministry of Education.
  • The Authorisation Board members are: Catherine Isaac – Chair, John Shewan – Deputy Chair, Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, John Morris, Dr Margaret Southwick, Terry Bates, Sir Toby Curtis and John Taylor
  • Specific selection criteria included the strength of each applicant’s educational offering, and their ability to improve the education results for children the education system has not consistently served well.
  • Partnership Schools are subject to ERO reviews like state schools, and are subject to contract monitoring by the Ministry. Public reporting is also required.
  • They are required to negotiate if they wish to employ non-registered teachers, and for core curriculum subjects registered teachers must be employed. All employees are police vetted.
  • They are held to account through a fixed-term contract to deliver specific school-level targets negotiated with the Crown.
  • Partnership schools have more flexibility to make decisions about how they operate and use cashed-up funding so they can meet the needs of their students in different ways to the mainstream system.
  • The first five Partnership Schools we have opened are (in Auckland) the Rise UP Academy, South Auckland Middle School, Vanguard Military School; and (in Whangarei) Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa and Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru.
  • Villa Education Trust and He Puna Marama Charitable Trust are existing sponsors of Partnership Schools that were approved in the first application round (in 2013).

You can find the original news item here