Charter Schools begin transition today

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Wellington, May 15, 2018

As the next step in the transition of charter schools into the state school system, the formal process to end charter school contracts is starting today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has said.

He issued the following Statement today.

As I announced last week, all existing charter schools have applied to become part of the state school system, and I will make a decision on these applications by the end of July.

My preference is still to reach mutual agreement with the charter schools on ending the contracts, and the Ministry of Education will continue to discuss this with the schools.

A formal notice would only take effect if they are unable to reach agreement.

Contracts to end

The formal notice I am giving today confirms that I intend their contracts to finish at the end of the 2018 school year. This is a legal process that is required under the contracts. It is separate from decisions on their applications to become part of the state school system.

Ending the contracts requires six months’ notice to be given and can only take effect at the end of a school year.

Each charter school has 10 business days when they may ask me to review this.

If I then decide to proceed with ending the contract, the school won’t continue to operate as a charter school beyond this year unless this is mutually agreed.

The priority is to ensure a smooth transition for schools and their students.

Additional Measures

I am considering additional measures to support charter schools to make a successful transition into the state system, and details are currently being worked through.”

Contracts with the sponsors of three unopened charter schools have already been ended. This includes Blue Light Ventures, which was due to open in 2018, and City Senior School and Vanguard Military School Christchurch, which were due to open in 2019.


Photograph of Chris Hipkins from file

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