A fees boycott

The Dom Post reports:

A Wellington school’s boycott on full compliance has in turn encountered a boycott – by a father who has vowed to stop paying school fees.

Peter McKeefry, whose three children attend Clyde Quay School, has accused his school board of pushing through a standards boycott without consulting parents.

“The school is denying me the legal right to know how my children are doing at school,” he said.

None of the board had mentioned they were anti-standards when they stood for election, or that they would vote for a boycott, he said.

“Other parents are quite disgusted, as I am myself. There has been no discussion about the boycott.”

He had written to the board expressing his “strongest disappointment of the boycott”, and made an Official Information Act request to it for information it had received on national standards.

He would withhold donations to the school next year in protest at the boycott until the school fully complied with the standards, but would not take his children away, he said.

This is a smart move. Why should parents pay, when the board is refusing to obey the law.

However, principal Liz Parata is hopeful Mr McKeefry’s stance is due to a misunderstanding of what the school has actually signed up to.

The board was still “progressing the work of national standards” and was refusing to report only their 2012 achievement targets to the Education Ministry next year, until they had some dialogue and more explanations from the ministry, she said.

“My sense is that people hear `boycotting’ and there’s a number of interpretations, which is very misleading.”

Education would not be compromised as a result, but the ministry would miss out on information with which to measure the school’s results against their targets, she said.

Yes, effectively the school is just refusing to fill in some forms at this stage – but will still report to parents against national standards. However some schools are refusing to even report to parents. Meanwhile 90% of schools are getting on with it.

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