|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
Anne Tolley 24 February, 2011
Update on Canterbury schools
Education Minister Anne Tolley says while Christchurch City schools and early childhood education centres remain closed until further notice, some schools in Selwyn and Waimakariri may be able to open after the weekend, following the devastating earthquake.
There are 215 schools across Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn with around 76,000 students, and 415 ECE services.
?We are doing all we can to support schools and ECE centres at this difficult time,? says Mrs Tolley.
?A team of 30 Ministry of Education assessors is currently working its way around schools to determine how safe they are and the extent of the damage, but it?s already clear that many have been badly affected.
?While it?s too early to give an overall assessment, we know there has been significant damage to Christchurch Girls High, Avonside Girls High, Shirley Boys High, Manning Intermediate, Mount Pleasant Primary, and Van Asch Deaf Education Centre.
?Schools in and around the cordoned-off CBD area are also likely to be seriously damaged. They are Hagley Community College, Discovery Primary, Unlimited Secondary, Catholic Cathedral College and St Paul's, Christchurch East Primary, Southern Regional Health School, St Mary?s School, St Michael?s, Christ College and Cathedral Grammar School.
?The Ministry is currently working on alternative arrangements for students who won?t initially be able to return to their schools, and more information will be made available in due course.
?Schools in Selwyn and Waimakariri may be able to open for staff tomorrow, if buildings meet health and safety requirements and if staff members are available, given the personal challenges some will be facing. Boards can then decide to open for students from Monday, if they are satisfied they are providing a safe environment and if communities are happy for them to do so.?
Parents should contact their school for further information. The Ministry website at www.minedu.govt.nz will be constantly updated with information on school openings.
The Ministry is offering support through its traumatic incident service, which can be contacted on 0800 848 326.
There is also a helpline for schools and ECE staff wanting further information on 0800 225 580.