ACT Leader David Seymour has welcomed the National Party’s borrowing of the Partnership School policy, saying there’s no limit to what you can achieve if you don’t mind who takes the credit.
"National started embracing this policy in 2017. We're pleased to see their renewed commitment to ACT policy almost two years later.
"It hasn't always been this way. National had to be dragged kicking and screaming to support Partnership Schools in Government. The then-Education Minister Hekia Parata announced after the 2014 election that there would be no more of the schools after the first two rounds of applications only to back down and seek another three rounds of applications under lobbying from ACT. Now, in opposition, Partnership Schools are the best idea National ever had.
"Six years ago, Partnership Schools were an obscure idea. Today, every party accepts their necessity. ACT champions them, the current Government has kept the existing Partnership Schools in operation, and the National Party are now saying they’ve loved them all along.
"The growing political acceptance of Partnership Schools is critical to the success of the whole country. If we do not find more innovative ways to provide education for disengaged students, we will all suffer from an under-skilled, disengaged workforce in the future. The social and economic consequences of educational failure are enormous, and will be magnified as the most disadvantaged demographics grow over the coming decades.
"Partnership Schools are a fantastic example of the difference ACT can make, even with a single MP. It seems ACT is required to provide education policy for itself and the National Party as well. Thankfully, it’s a responsibility ACT is comfortable with.
"We hope that in another six years other parties will be embracing ACT’s new education ideas such as Student Education Accounts. This policy would effectively put parents in charge of their kid's share of the $15 billion dollar education budget. It would allow them to take their share of funding to private schools if they choose. It is a very exciting idea whose time is about to come."