Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open

Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening. 

“There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour.

“There is a comprehensive and independent two-stage application process that I am confident will result in outstanding schools that will raise overall educational achievement.

“Charter schools provide educators with greater autonomy and create diversity in New Zealand’s education system. They have been proven to raise overall educational achievement, especially for students who are underachieving or disengaged from the current system.

“The first stage of the application process involves ensuring those applying are ‘fit and proper persons’ to run a school, as defined in legislation, and that they have a viable high-level proposal.

“To provide certainty to sponsors, they will have a fixed-term contract of 10 years to operate a charter school, with two rights of renewal for 10 years each. All fixed-term periods are conditional on the school continuing to meet the terms of its contract.

“The second stage is a detailed assessment of their plans for the school before final decisions are made later this year. This will evaluate the focus of the proposed school, the capability of the sponsor, the standard of tuition to be provided, the level of support from the community, and financial and network implications for the Crown.

“We are on track for the first charter schools to open in Term One 2025. I expect more will open at other points throughout the year and in 2026.

“Charter schools will be subject to a high level of monitoring and accountability and could be shut down if they do not achieve the outcomes they were funded to achieve.

“I hope and intend to see many new charter schools opening, and state and state-integrated schools converting to become charter schools. Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed, to achieve to the best of their ability, and to gain qualifications that will support them into further study and employment.”

Information about the application process is available on the following page on the Charter Schools | Kura horua website.

Those interested in becoming a sponsor can find the application pack on the following page on the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) website.