charter schools

What is a partnership school?

Partnership schools are run by private companies and organisations, who are called ‘sponsors’, not by the government. The government has private agreements with each sponsor that explain the terms of how that sponsor provides education. These agreements are not publicly available.

Partnership schools have more choice in how to run the school than regular schools do, but still have to follow lots of the same rules as well.

What will it cost to go to a partnership school?

Like regular public schools, partnership schools are free. You might still be asked to pay fees, which should cost about the same as fees at regular public schools. Read more about school fees on the ‘school fees’ page.

Who can go to a partnership school?

Like regular public schools, partnership schools have to enrol students who apply to the school, unless there are not enough places in the school for everyone who applies. Unlike regular public schools, partnership schools do not have ‘zones’. This might mean that anyone will have the same chance of getting into a partnership school that they apply for, no matter where they live. It might also depend on what the contract between the school and the government says about which students they have to enrol.

Who runs a partnership school?

Partnership schools are run by the private company or organisation (the sponsor) that has the contract with the government. This is quite different to regular schools. Regular schools are run by boards of trustees, which have to include parent, teacher and staff representatives.

Who can teach at a partnership schools?

Regular schools can only hire a person as a teacher if that person has been through teacher training and a teacher registration process. Partnership schools have to hire some regular teachers, but can also hire people who are not registered teachers. Everyone they hire still has to have a police check to see if they have any criminal convictions.

What will a partnership school teach?

Partnership schools don’t have to teach the same New Zealand Curriculum that regular public schools teach. They still have to follow the big picture ideas and goals of the Curriculum, though. They also have to give their students the chance to get a recognized qualification.

What rules can a partnership school make?

Partnership schools are allowed to make any rules that they think will help in controlling or running the school. The rules they make can’t be against the law in New Zealand.

Partnership schools have to follow the same rules about searching you that regular schools have to follow. Read more on the ‘searches’ page. Unlike regular schools though, partnership schools are allowed to hire contractors to search your property.

Can I get kicked out of a partnership school?

Partnership schools have to follow all the same rules as regular schools if they want to stand-down, suspend, exclude or expel you. The only difference is that at a regular school, it is the Board of Trustees who makes the decision. Partnership schools don’t have Boards of Trustees, so the decision will be made by the school sponsor. The sponsor can give someone else the power to make the decision on their behalf. They can’t give that power to the person who is taking the role of the principal in the disciplinary procedure. This means that the person who decided to suspend you can’t also be the person who decides whether or not to let you come back to school.

Complaints processes

Partnership schools will all have independent reviewers, who you can complain to if you think that the school has done something wrong, treated you unfairly or broken the law. The school may or may not listen to what the independent reviewer says. You can also complain to the Ombudsman instead or at the same time, just like you can complain about a regular school.