‘Cock-up’ over Chch school announcement
Thu, 13 Sep 2012 1:42p.m.
By 3 News online staff
A misleading announcement by the Ministry of Education over the future of Christchurch schools has caused widespread confusion and anger.
Plans were announced this afternoon to close 13 schools across Canterbury and merge a further 18 in a major overhaul of the region’s education sector.
The plans included merging Shirley Boys' High School with Christchurch Boys' High and Avonside Girls' High School with Christchurch Girls' High School.
But in a startling about-face, the ministry later reneged on these plans, releasing a statement saying there were “no firm proposals to merge or close Christchurch high schools”.
The ministry says the information they presented earlier was “not clear and potentially misleading”.
The debacle has infuriated Shirley Boys’ principal John Laurenson who says it shows the ministry’s incompetence.
“What the ministry media people have done is cock up the statements that have been made,” he says.
“They haven't’ studied and graduated to media, quite frankly.”
Mr Laurenson says it’s impractical to merge his school with Christchurch Boys’ High.
The ministry says it is unable to make proposals on the four high schools in question because there is not enough geotechnical information.
“The ministry apologises if any information made available today was unclear regarding Christchurch high schools,” their statement says.
Earlier today Education Minster Hekia Parata, flanked by the Ministry’s Secretary for Education Lesley Longstone and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, revealed the plans.
They called it the “education renewal project” which included a $1 billion spend on the Christchurch education sector over 10 years.
“The whole education sector has experienced huge disruption following the earthquakes,’’ Mr Brownlee said.
“As we move from recovery to renewal we have an opportunity to realign services with changing community needs and ensure our investment delivers better outcomes for learners and the wider community.”
In the initial release from the ministry, Mr Brownlee said it was important the Government “[takes] the time to get this right”.
PROPOSALS ANNOUNCED BY THE GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS TO MERGE
Shirley Boys' High School and Christchurch Boys' High School
Avonside Girls' High School and Christchurch Girls' High School
Aranui High School, Aranui Primary, Avondale Primary, Chisnallwood Intermediate and Wainoni Primary.
Lyttelton Main and Lyttelton West
Freeville Primary and North New Brighton Primary
Linwood Avenue School and Bromley Primary
Phillipstown Primary and Woolston Primary
Windsor Primary and Burwood Primary
Yaldhurst Model School and Gilberthorpe School
SCHOOLS TO RELOCATE
Banks Avenue Primary (or close)
SCHOOLS TO CLOSE
Banks Avenue Primary (or be relocated)
Hammersley Park Primary
Le Bons Bay School
Duvachelle Primary, Akaroa.
Okains Bay, Akaroa.
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17/09/2012 6:13:31 p.m.
Im a seventeen year old schoolgirl from Southland. When I was in year 4 we were to.d that our school was going to merge nd that intermediate schools would become part of the high schools. It worked out perfectly. I made new friends I may not of met before, I grew up and developed my learning a lot faster due to being in a high school. But most of all it was an experience that worked well. No one was left out and no one has complained about the level of learning decreased. Don't judge a system before you have lived through it. Maybe this is what Christchurch needs to get education back on its feet and back into a higher standard of learning
16/09/2012 10:21:46 p.m.
Ian C wrote:
yes Shirley Intermediate is closing so is Linwood Intermediate i get it they dont want Intermediate schools get rid of them all for a govt that said it was doing everything in the open with transparency there seems to be a lot of non consulting and ordering of what they want going on and in my opinion the govt is making decisions in the boardroom not the ground
15/09/2012 8:06:35 p.m.
Bigger schools = Bigger Cracks for students to fall through and be forgotten!
Its disgraceful and will cause yet another exodus of Cantabrian Residents to pastures new.
14/09/2012 9:30:07 a.m.
this is sad that alot of schools closing and emerging. Instead worrying about the Maoris wanting land and water we should be looking at a better future for our children, grandchildren and their children. alot children cant cope in larger size classes. Teachers will be laid of so there goes the unemployment rate up,if feel for the teachers and familys who have children at these schools and i feel for the children. We paying out millions on Maori land, which is ridcolous, we are all equal so we should all be entitled to money for land if that the case, We should be spending that money on better schools,better education and train more people to be teachers.
14/09/2012 1:04:23 a.m.
It's not about money, it's about having pride in their school. I see so many Avonside girls walking around with faces full of caked on makeup, wearing incorrect uniform and just in general worsening their school's reputation. How a student wears their uniform reflects how they feel about their school and their pride in their community and themselves. It's a generalisation of course, but on the whole you can't deny that you don't notice it. Same for the likes of Papanui High.
13/09/2012 11:39:48 p.m.
Burnside Primary is a brilliant school. It is well maintained and looks immaculate. Where is the 'major damage' that is unfixable. Where is the ministry's consultation with the communities? I don't understand why they are closing this school. Is it on land they need for the rebuild? Is it part of some major plan that we, the public who vote, have no access to? I understand the principals who attended the meeting today were given colour coded nametags and separated according to their colour. One colour was told 'your school is closing'. To be told this devastating news in this manner is disgraceful and the teachers at Burnside Primary who give 110% for their kids deserve better. So do the kids!
13/09/2012 10:20:52 p.m.
@Becky (the snob) wrote:
"It will only bring down the reputation CGHS..." What a snob you are. Just because Avonside students are not rolling in as much money you can't talk about them like that.
13/09/2012 10:06:04 p.m.
Christchurch has had 4 major disasters
1 Sept Quake
2 Feb Quake
3 Minister of earthquake recovery
4 Minister of education
the last two caused the most damage to the city
13/09/2012 10:01:30 p.m.
Closing Burnside Primary Why!!!!!
We border Cobham Intermediate so a lot off families have children at both schools who them move onto Burnside High.
It has a strong community feel with 40 nationalities we have wonderful teachers and leadership who create our shinng stars of the future.
Our children have already had the upheaval of Aorangi school closing and merging as well as the earthquakes. The impression that is coming across on Campbell live tonight who showed the wrong school! Is that it is falling down we need to address the outside cladding which is brick it is not a structural problem. Replacing the cladding and use weatherboard or such other products.
We have stayed in the same house for twenty years so that all 3 of our children can attend Burnside primary as well as lots of others so the children can all make the fluid transition between schools. We have two children in the junior school who are devastated about leaving friends and amazing teachers.
LETS SAVE BURNSIDE PRIMARY
13/09/2012 9:57:49 p.m.
This is ridiculous! Merging is ok, however what about those children who will have to go even further to school now? will there be a middle ground (building new schools in the middle of the two) or are parents going to have to cough up the money to travel further?? or is our government going to help out with a 50 odd school busses?? yeah i think not! and closing schools!? please name another intermediate in the Hornby area..? and isn't that where most people are moving to now that the eastern suburbs are slowly being diminished? what a load of bull! hey government, come live in chch and try bring your families up here, its hard enough as it is without having to worry about our children being uprooted again, just when things were starting to get back to normal.
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