WELLINGTON, Feb 12 - And Education Minister Chris Hipkins, who last week introduced legislation that will ensure there are no new charter schools and gives him the power to close the 11 that already exist, says no decisions have been made about the future of any of them.

The schools have become a hot political issue and in Auckland at the weekend about 200 people joined a protest against closing them.

Labour has always opposed charter schools, which are state-funded but can be run by church, business or community groups.

They don't have to hire registered teachers and can tailor their teaching for students who are failing in the state system.

"We haven't made any decisions about what's going to happen to those schools," Mr Hipkins said at Ms Ardern's post-cabinet press conference on Monday.

"The Ministry of Education will be doing the negotiating, it will be carried out in good faith."

The legislation Mr Hipkins introduced makes it possible for them to become schools of special character, or private schools, or they can be integrated into the state system.

"What we're asking is they transition to a model that at least allows for their teachers to be registered, the curriculum is taught, and for them to be treated in a funding sense in the same way as state schools," Ms Ardern said.

"If they're willing to do that then there's a path forward for those schools.

"I imagine we're going to find a compromise."

The ACT Party introduced charter schools under its support agreement with the previous government.

ACT and National have attacked the government for its attitude to them.

Mr Hipkins said the opposition parties were "very much trying to whip up a campaign of fear" about closures.

 

AAP