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Ministers announce framework for Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua


Hekia Parata, John Banks

2 August, 2012

Ministers announce framework for Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua

Education Minister Hekia Parata and Associate Education Minister John Banks today announced the framework for the New Zealand Model of Charter School.

The schools will be known as Partnership Schools or Kura Hourua.

?The term ?partnership? captures the essence of the concept; they will be a partnership between the Crown and the school?s sponsor, and between the sponsor and the community,?? says Mr Banks.

?We already have a number of different types of schools operating in New Zealand, such as state, integrated, or private schools.

?Partnership schools will be another option for parents and students, giving them more freedom to choose the type of education that best suits their learning needs.??

Ms Parata says the Government is focused on raising achievement for all students, particularly for those groups who have historically been under-served by the current system.

?We want all our students leaving school with the skills they need to reach their potential in the modern economy.

?Partnerships schools or Kura Hourua will be based on international best practice and will ensure high levels of accountability and flexibility, while being tailored to New Zealand?s education environment,?? says Ms Parata.

Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this year and formal requests for proposals from potential sponsors will be called for once the legislation is passed. All sponsors will be expected to open their schools for the beginning of the 2014 school year.

?Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in education in New Zealand. I would like to thank the New Zealand Model of Charter School Working Group for their work so far to develop the Partnership School framework,?? says Mr Banks.

?The group consulted extensively, and were able to combine this feedback with the wealth of international experience to create the gold-standard New Zealand model that we have announced today.?

For more information please go to:


Key Features of Partnership Schools/ Kura Hourua

Have a sponsor as the governing body and be held to account through a fixed-term contract to deliver specific school-level targets negotiated with the Crown.

Be required to report publicly on an annual basis on progress against the school-level targets and have that data included in any student achievement
 information provided by the Government to parents.

Be approved to open by the Minister of Education

Have the authorising body to work with Education Review Office to conduct educational performance reviews based on the terms of the contract and
milestone data requirements. The Government has the right to intervene and require the sponsor to address any breach of contract.

Partnership Schools/ Kura Hourua can choose to use The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) or Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMoA), or use or develop
an alternative curriculum framework that is mapped to the principles of the NZC or TMoA

Partnership Schools/ Kura Hourua must report against National Standards for Year 1-8 students, and must offer NCEA or an equivalent qualification
recognised by industry and tertiary providers in New Zealand.

Partnership Schools/ Kura Hourua can negotiate the percentage of registered teachers they wish to employ as part of their contracts (with Police
vetting of non-teaching and unregistered employees) and negotiate salary levels and employment conditions directly with employees.

Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua can set their own school hours and term dates as part of the contract.

They must accept all students who apply regardless of background or ability, using a ballot if oversubscribed.

They must negotiate the maximum number of students enrolled with the Crown as part of the contract. This can be reviewed annually
according to success at serving existing students and community demand for places. 2012