True partnership at charter schools

The Herald reports:

Millie Tapusoa’s son punched a girl in the face soon after he started at the South Auckland Middle School. But he wasn’t punished.

The charter school recognised that the boy, Jaydon Solouota, had Asperger’s Syndrome. Before he started in Year 7 in 2015, the school worked with his case manager at Idea Services to train staff “to get to know Jaydon from Jaydon’s world view”.

It gave Jaydon coloured cards so that if he got angry or anxious he could give his teacher the appropriate card and leave, no questions asked.

That didn’t stop incidents at first.

“Jaydon punched a girl in the face because she had come into his space and he had said to her ‘Go away’ three times,” Tapusoa said.

“I picked him up from school, and over the next two days the school did a session with his class on what sorts of things made Jaydon happy and what made Jaydon sad. The school didn’t punish him, but what they did was they educated his class.”

The school’s approach was unlike anything Tapusoa had experienced before. A former nurse, she pulled Jaydon and his older brother Tama, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, out of a Porirua school where she felt their needs were not being met.

“In the state system the word ‘inclusive’ is just lip service,” she said.

Yet this kind caring Labour Government is forcing kids like Tapusoa into the state system which failed them.

Tapusoa believes that what made the difference at South Auckland Middle School was its policy of only 15 students in a class.

“Because of that, there is a lot more personal contact with the parents,” she said.

“In partnership schools it is a partnership. It’s me, the teachers, the kids and the community. The children at partnership schools get to enjoy everything. You are not excluded if you are not good enough.”

Partnership schools have no zones. No one is forced to go to them. Parents send their kids there because they think it will give their kids a better chance.

The partnership schools are bulk-funded, enabling Poole and his wife Karen, the Villa Education Trust‘s chief executive, to hire more teachers by spending less on property and administration.

The bulk funding flexibility is key to these schools, and that is what the unions and their servant party insists must be abolished.

The article also lists the ethnic backgrounds of the 1,300 students at 11 . They are:

  • Maori 815 (63%)
  • Pasifika 351 (27%)
  • Other 134 (10%)

So 90% of the students are Maori and Pasifika – two groups that do very badly in the state system. And Labour’s answer is to force them back into the state system.

West Auckland father Preston Brown, who has brought up his Māori son as a solo dad since the boy’s mother was jailed, said the boy was “let go from a few schools” for misbehaviour.

After he was expelled from his second school, he was placed in the Westbridge residential school, but he had to leave there last year because his behaviour improved. Brown then put him into Middle School West Auckland, where the boy “has gone way back up again” academically.

That will end soon.

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