The previous Government called for applications from parties interested in establishing new Charter Schools in early 2017. Those successful applicants signed contracts with the Government later in 2017 which triggered the payment of ‘Establishment Grants’. Since then, and following a change in Government, the Ministry, on the Minister’s instruction, has set about negotiating individually with each school, both existing and those scheduled to open in 2018/19, towards terminating all Charter School contracts by the end of the 2018 school year.
The early termination of each executed contract, noting that they were for an initial term of six years, requires negotiation. It would seem reasonable under the circumstances for the establishment grant of a new school that won’t now open due to the new Government committing to repeal the Partnership School legislation, to close existing and proposed Charter Schools, and to send 1500 kids back to a state system that failed them.
In applying and proceeding to establish new Partnership Schools it is clear that sponsors will have incurred costs. It would seem fair and reasonable therefore that these committed costs would be reimbursed by the changed thinking of the new Government. It follows then that the negotiation between each school and the Crown will deliver agreement on what is to be repaid.
This is clearly not a problem of the Charter Schools making.