Education Minister Hekia Parata has today announced final decisions for 16 greater Christchurch schools affected by the Government’s Education Renewal Plans and two new proposals for three other schools.
“The Government is absolutely committed to rebuilding Christchurch – that’s why we are investing $1 billion into restoring and renewing the education sector in Canterbury over the next 10 years,” Ms Parata says.
“We have listened to parents, schools and communities throughout this process and as a result have made some further changes to the interim decisions.”
In February, Ms Parata announced interim decisions for 31 greater Christchurch schools. Since then, 12 of those schools have accepted their interim decisions (10 to remain open and two schools to merge into one).
Of the remaining 19 schools, Ms Parata has today announced final decisions for 16 schools. Those decisions are:
- Two schools that had an interim decision to remain open but for one school to relocate will both stay open on their current sites (Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Waitaha and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori).
- One school that had an interim decision to merge will remain open on its current site (South New Brighton).
- Seven schools will close (Branston Intermediate, Glenmoor School, Greenpark School, Kendal School, Linwood Intermediate, Manning Intermediate and Richmond School).
- Six schools will merge to create three schools (Burwood School with Windsor School, on the Windsor site, Phillipstown School with Woolston School, on the Woolston site, and Lyttelton West School with Lyttelton Main, into a newly built school on the Lyttelton Main site).
The mergers and closures will take effect from January 2014, with the exception of the Lyttelton West and Lyttelton Main, which will merge at the later date of May 2014 after the community raised concerns about the merged school operating initially on three different sites.
Ms Parata also announced that:
- Three schools in New Brighton (North New Brighton, Central New Brighton and Freeville) are now subject to two new proposals, which will now be consulted on together.
It was proposed that Central New Brighton should merge with South New Brighton on the South New Brighton site. Ms Parata has now decided that merger will not go ahead and South New Brighton will remain on its current site as a separate school.
“I have also decided to defer my decision on the merger of Freeville and North New Brighton schools.
“North New Brighton, Central New Brighton and Freeville schools are now subject to two new proposals, which school communities came up with during the consultation process, and they will have until 10 July 2013 to provide feedback on these proposals.
The new proposals are to either merge Central New Brighton, Freeville School and North New Brighton School on the North New Brighton site, or to close Central New Brighton and finalise the interim decision to merge Freeville and North New Brighton on the North New Brighton site. The final decision will be implemented at the beginning of term two in May 2014.
“While I am conscious this delays the decision making process for these three schools and their communities, it’s important we work to get this right.”
The seven schools that have final decisions to close are: Branston Intermediate, Glenmoor School, Greenpark School, Kendal School, Linwood Intermediate, Manning Intermediate and Richmond School.
Glenmoor, Greenpark, and Richmond all have rolls of fewer than 50 children. Kendal has a roll of 66 children, Linwood has a roll of 131, Manning a roll of 156, and Branston Intermediate a roll of 180 children.
While parents obviously have a choice about where their children receive their year 7 and 8 education Ms Parata has decided that:
- Branston Intermediate be replaced with Year 7-8 provision at Hornby High.
- Manning Intermediate be replaced with Year 7-8 provision at Hillmorton High.
- Linwood College will provide Year 7-8 provision in place of Linwood Intermediate.
The Ministry of Education will work closely with these secondary schools to ensure they are supported to be in a position to provide an effective Year 7-8 curriculum from January 2014.
“We acknowledge change can be hard, but parents will be supported in making decisions about their child’s future education and there are plenty of options available to them,” Ms Parata says.
“The face and make-up of greater Christchurch has, and will continue to change dramatically due to the earthquakes, and the education sector must respond to those changes.
The following schools will merge in January 2014:
- Burwood School with Windsor School, on the Windsor site
- Phillipstown School with Woolston School on the Woolston School site.
- Lyttelton West School will also merge with Lyttelton Main, into a newly built school on the Lyttelton Main site, but at the later date of May 2014 because the community had raised concerns about the merged school operating initially on three different sites.
“I have decided the merged school will initially operate from the Lyttelton West and St Joseph sites so that the Lyttelton Main site is completely clear for the new school to be built.
“The delayed date of May 2014 for this to take effect will allow the merged school to operate over two sites instead of three, which will be more convenient.’’
There are around 2,100 children across these 13 schools that will close or merge. That’s around 3 per cent of the nearly 72,000 children in greater Christchurch schools.
“I would like to thank parents, teachers, principals and school communities for the feedback they provided during this process. In making these decisions, I am mindful families in greater Christchurch have already been through a lot and I expect that today’s announcement will provide some certainty,’’ Ms Parata says.
There were already around 5,000 places available in schools in greater Christchurch before the earthquakes, and 4,300 students have not re-enrolled, meaning there are now 9,300 places available – that’s roughly equivalent to the entire student population of Gisborne
Of the 215 schools in greater Christchurch, 177 schools, or more than 80 per cent, were not affected by the Government’s proposals.
In summary, of the 38 schools covered in the original proposals announced in September last year:
28 schools now have final decisions:
- Six schools will remain open: Burnham Primary School, Burnside Primary School, Duvauchelle School, Okains Bay School, Ouruhia Model School and Shirley Intermediate.
- Seven schools will not be merged: Bromley School and Linwood Avenue Schools, and Yaldhurst Model and Gilberthorpe Schools, South New Brighton and KKM o Waitaha and TKKM o Te Whānau Tahi.
- Seven schools will close: Branston Intermediate, Glenmoor, Greenpark, Kendal, Linwood Intermediate, Manning Intermediate and Richmond.
- Eight schools will merge to form four schools: Burwood will merge with Windsor, Discovery will merge with Unlimited, Lyttleton Main will merge with Lyttelton West, and Phillipstown will merge with Woolston.
Of the remaining 10 schools:
- Five Aranui schools have interim decisions.
- Aranui, Avondale, Wainoni, and Aranui High School should close and form a new Year 1-13 campus.
- Chisnallwood should remain open as a standalone school
The Aranui schools now have until the 3 July 2013 to provide feedback or accept the interim decision.
- Three schools - North New Brighton, Central New Brighton and Freeville - have two new proposals to consider:
- Central New Brighton, Freeville School and North New Brighton School will merge on the North New Brighton site.
- Central New Brighton is closed and interim decision to merge Freeville and North New Brighton is finalised.
Submissions on these proposals are due on 10 July 2013.
- Two schools have already closed voluntarily. Those schools are Hammersley Park and Le Bons Bay.