The Confidence and Supply Agreement signed by the National and ACT Parties in December 2011 agreed to pilot a model of charter school within this parliamentary term (ending in 2014).
During the policy development phase, the Ministry of Education prepared advice for Ministers and Cabinet about how a New Zealand model of charter schools – now known as Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua – could be implemented.
The Associate Minister of Education, Hon John Banks, appointed an independent working group with expertise and experience in education, community development and business to support the development and implementation of a New Zealand model of charter school.
After its establishment in March 2012, the Partnership School Working Group publicly promoted the Partnership Schools initiative. The Working Group last met in March 2013 and has now been formally disestablished.
All potential sponsors to open a Partnership School in 2014 went through a comprehensive application process run by the Authorisation Board and the Ministry of Education. This process was run according to All-of-Government procurement rules and principles.
The Ministry of Education prepares summary information and advice to the Minister of Education about Partnership Schools’ operations, such as quarterly reporting and new school ERO Readiness Reviews. The Minister must approve variations to the schools’ Agreements, such as changes to roll size and class level, and appoint Authorisation Board members.