BIG NEWS

Friday, November 26, 2010

Leaked Ministry document says National Standards opponents are acting legally

A leaked document from the Ministry of Education states that the Ministry will struggle to assess school charters using the National Standards because of its own decision to move the date requiring schools to submit charters from the end of May to January next year. All updated charters have to be sent to the Ministry of Education every year and must be processed within 25 working days, as per section 63A of the Education Act 1989.
The leaked document[PDF] states schools joining the "Boards Taking Action Coalition" who have pledged to defer sending in the charters are acting legally. The Education Act does not specify when charters have to be sent to the Ministry, provided they are sent every year.

In practice, schools send in only the annually updated section of the charter, in the form of the annual plan. Training for Boards of Trustees on developing charters for National Standards only commenced this month. I blogged about the quality of that training here.

For schools that send charters that do not meet the requirements of the Act ( and we know that about 245 schools have pledged to send in charters that won’t meet the requirements) the Ministry determines when that charter takes effect. The leaked document states that charter processing will increase the workload significantly.
We anticipate that you will initially sift the charters to determine whether or not they meet the requirements, and identify those which need further work…. It may take a year or two for you to work out the best way to process this large influx of charters in a short period of time
A new or updated school charter takes effect on the 25th working day after the date that the Ministry receives it. How many school charters – with or without National Standards information - will take effect 25 working days after the Ministry receives them because they have not been processed in accordance with the Act?

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