Banks' charter school cronyism

2 May 2012

Claims by ACT party leader John Banks that the Charter School Working Group will be an independent "arms-length body" are laughable in light of newly released OIA material, PPTA president Robin Duff says.

Political blog No Right Turn has published papers released under the Official Information Act that reveal Banks bypassed proper political process to appoint former party president Catherine Isaac "“ who has no experience in the education field - to lead the working group.

"How can a group led by a former high-ranking ACT official, shoulder-tapped by the ACT leader possibly be at arms-length from the ACT party?" Duff asked.

PPTA has already called for an inquiry into the impartiality of the group and president Robin Duff said the documents, which revealed the appointment process in one phrase - The decision has already been made to nominate Catherine Isaac as the Chair of the Group, confirmed the association's worst suspicions.

"The documents show that the State Services Commission runs a complex process to eliminate this kind of political favouritism, but Banks seems to have been able to ignore it, with cabinet's active approval,” Duff said.

"There have been no nominations, no interviews and no assessment process – this is cronyism at the extreme. It is further proof that the charter schools experiment will be ideologically driven rather than fairly assessed. This is nothing but a cynical attempt to give legitimacy to a political scam,” he said.

The full OIA documents can be found at:

Contact: PPTA president Robin Duff – 04 913 4227 021 636108

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