Destiny Church aims to integrate its school into state system

The Post Primary Teachers Association is opposing a bid by Destiny Church to have its south Auckland school become state integrated.

PPTA president Angela Roberts said the union is concerned about how surrounding schools might be affected, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The school is within Destiny Church’s “City of God” complex in Manukau, and had a roll of 150 last year.

If approved for state integration, it would receive the same government funding for each student as state schools, but retain ownership of its buildings and land.

Integrated schools usually charge compulsory fees called attendance dues to meet property costs.

State-integrated schools teach the national curriculum but keep their own special character – usually a religious or philosophical belief – as part of their school programme.

Destiny Church, led by Bishop Brian Tamaki, has been controversial in the past with its political activities and tithing practices.

Ms Roberts said smaller schools such as Destiny’s were relatively expensive to run, which would place more pressure on the wider public school network.

“It’s not like they [the ministry] are building a new school because of roll growth – this is something that is going to have an impact on the surrounding schools,” Ms Roberts said.

A Destiny spokesperson said integration “will enable us to offer [our] transformational model to more students in Years 0-13 in south Auckland”.

Nearby schools are being consulted as part of the application process, an education ministry spokesperson said.

Factors to be taken into account include the impact on other schools in the area, education quality at the school, and the cost of integration, the spokesperson said.

A previous application to integrate the Destiny school in 2009 was rejected.

The school also failed in a bid to be a “charter” or “partnership” school.

It charges tuition fees from $65 to $85 a week and received a $266,000 operations grant from the Ministry of Education, according to its 2011 financial statement.


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News category: New Zealand.

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