As detailed a few days ago the Villa Education Trust is in a huge battle with the Ministry of Education to be allowed to provide specialised education for up to 480 neuro-diverse learners through a non-zoned, Designated Character School, near an Auckland transport hub. There is massive demand for this.
We received new information today. The background is that; in response to the nonsensical rejection letter from the Minister – claiming these students are all well provided for in all State schools – a parent sent information on how much she pays (as a donation) for support for her 8 year old in a State school. It was sent on July 6. A Ministry official contacted that school and forced them to withdraw that provision on July 7. It has had a huge impact on the family and was, at best a callous act and the most they can say is that it might have been better to have directly contacted the family to “avoid confusion”. This has emotionally and provision-wise affected thousands of families who have lost this avenue for helping their child. It has effectively slashed funding for many, many schools for their high needs students. It has had huge media/social media.
The new information? Hipkins has today responded to a written question that he first read the parents email on July 16. He had even fronted media on it on the 15th. On the 6th and 7th – despite the email being sent addressed to the Minister that officials simply took it upon themselves to shoot from the hip.
So … rogue officials and a Minister not across his portfolio. Care, kindness and transparency? This is a Minister that has refused to meet with us for four years.
The most recent coverage of this (before today’s information) was thirty minutes on RNZ yesterday.