While some groups and individuals are uncomfortable with the ideas that Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua are introducing to the New Zealand schooling sector, that is not in itself a reason for condemnation of all partnership schools says NZSTA.
The fact that non delivery or non-performance is not allowed to continue should be seen as a positive outcome NZSTA President Lorraine Kerr says.
While the decision to close Te Pumanawa o te Wairua shows that the Partnership School formula is not a guarantee of success, evidence presented in the Martin Jenkins report on innovation in Partnership Schools found that ‘The range and nature of innovations we found within PSKH provide early evidence the schools/kura are developing innovative solutions that match local needs while still meeting high quality standards.’
"There’s a huge difference between showing one example has not worked and showing that the whole system does not work" says Lorraine Kerr. "We don’t say all teachers are unfit to teach just because one teacher has their registration cancelled. We know that most teachers do a great job. So why would we say all Partnership Schools are unfit because we know one has not worked?"
Educators need to make decisions based on evidence, not prejudice. The first real evidence so far of what works in New Zealand. is the Martin Jenkins report, and that is saying that Partnership Schools may provide some important lessons for state schools and policymakers about what we need to change to make the system work for the students we are not currently reaching.
Some of those lessons seem to be in the area of governing and managing schools in a way that drives better student outcomes and experiences. NZSTA is watching with interest to see how the Partnership School model can inform existing good practice across the sector.