A charter school student has been awarded a Prime Minister’s scholarship, at the same time as the new government moves to scrap charter schools.

Middle School West Auckland student Sapphron Jackson-Marshall has become Villa Education Trust’s second student in 2017 to receive a Prime Minister’s scholarship. Villa Education Trust is the organisation that runs charter schools Middle School West Auckland and South Auckland Middle School.

Founder Alwyn Poole thanked the Prime Minister for acknowledging Jackson-Marshall’s achievement.

“Thank you to Jacinda Ardern for her recognition of excellence within Partnership Schools.”

Poole says he is “very proud” of Jackson-Marshall. The 14 year-old has a great future ahead of her, he says.

“Sapphron has made amazing progress at our bi-lingual Pohutukawa Villa on Middle School West Auckland. She was an amazing production manager at our professional concert Trust LIVE 17.”

In an Education Central opinion piece, Peter Lyons says the new government needs to consider what charter schools are achieving before shutting them down based on ideological opposition.

“If this government were to destroy [Alwyn Poole’s] efforts without examining his apparent success  that would be a tragedy. If he is succeeding then his model should be replicated rather than discarded.”

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says he intends to review each charter school on a case-by-case basis to determine their future. However he has made clear that there will be no further charter schools opened under this government.

Image: ​Sapphron Jackson-Marshall with friend of Villa Education Trust, Bev Adair-Beets.


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