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Chch schools get submissions extension

Tuesday 13 Nov 2012 3:37 p.m.

Education Minister Hekia Parata has met with 35 of the 37 schools the Government is planning to close or merge

Education Minister Hekia Parata has met with 35 of the 37 schools the Government is planning to close or merge

Five Christchurch schools set to be merged into a super-school, offering education from Year 1-13, will now have three extra months to make submissions on the idea after failing to reach a consensus.

Education Minister Hekia Parata has met with 35 of the 37 schools the Government is planning to close or merge as part of its Education Renewal Plan in the quake-damaged city.

She says there was "no consensus" between the schools over what timeframe the plan should be rolled out.

Of the 215 schools across greater Christchurch, 13 are proposed for closure and 18 for merger.

The Government is proposing to merge five schools in the suburb of Aranui into a new primary, intermediate and high school campus, and two Banks Peninsula schools will become attached to the Akaroa Area School while remaining on their own sites.

Ms Parata announced today that due to the "complexity" of the Aranui cluster, which is not proposed for creation until after 2017, those five schools will have until March 7, 2013, to make submissions on the plan.

All other schools will have until December 7, and Ms Parata will advise boards of her decisions in mid-February.

Three schools have already made submissions to the Ministry of Education.

Last week, Ms Parata dismissed a now-defunct idea to merge Christchurch Girls' High School with Avonside Girls' High School, and Christchurch Boys' High School with Shirley Boys' High School, as "crazy".

She said there was never a proposal to merge the schools and it was simply listed as one of a range of options in early documents.

The original list of options sparked surprise and outrage from schools who had not been consulted before mergers and closures were proposed.

NZN

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