Villa Education Trust’s charter schools, Middle School West Auckland and South Auckland Middle School have finally been approved to open as designated character schools next year.

The schools’ academic adviser Alwyn Poole welcomed the announcement, made today by Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

“We are both relieved and so very delighted

and looking forward to an outstanding future for our students, families and staff,” said Poole, who has fought hard to keep his schools open.
Hipkins said the delay in making a decision was due to a lack of necessary information that demonstrated that they meet the legal requirements for designated character schools. An

independent evaluator advised the Ministry.

“As a result, I am now satisfied that the curriculum will reflect the schools’ designated character, and that their students will receive an education that is significantly different from an ordinary state school,” said Hipkins.

Hipkins has appointed an Establishment Board of Trustees which will be responsible for both schools. This board will include members of the existing Villa Education Trust Board, to provide continuity for the schools and support their special character.

Nine charter schools’ applications to establish designated character schools have so far been approved with decisions expected shortly on the remaining applications.

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