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Mixed reactions to super school plan +AUDIO

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Latest Education News | Wednesday May 22 2013 20:57

Mixed reactions to super school plan +AUDIO


UPDATED 8.57PM - A super-school in eastern Christchurch is set to go ahead.

The Ministry of Education has announced the cluster school for new entrants to Year 13 - encompassing all of primary and secondary school - will be going ahead from 2017.

It will mean Avondale Primary School, Wainoni School, Aranui School and Aranui High School will close.

But it does not include Chisnallwood Intermediate School, which was originally included in the proposal.

Plan reflects what the community wants, says minister

Education Minister Hekia Parata says it will mean one of the most modern schooling networks in the country.

LISTEN: Hekia Parata's announcement of the super school plan this afternoon

"These proposals reflect listening to the community, reading through their submissions, I visited each of the schools and answered their questions.

"I think that the community campus offers a very exciting concept to the Aranui community, and we would expect to consult around what the configuration of that community campus would be."

The Aranui schools will now have six weeks to provide further feedback or accept the interim decision. 

Mixed reactions to plan from affected schools

Avondale Principal Mark Scown says they feel like the big loser in the announcements.

"We were hopeful that we could perhaps have had an overturn of the decision, because our case and our submission was very compelling.

"It still staggers me that this decision has come this way, really."

Aranui Primary Principal Mike Allen says they're excited about the prospects of the merge. 

Deputy Head Girl of Aranui High School, Emma Robertson, says she has been to three of the schools and they all offer something different, and merging them will cut out valuable learning.

"I don't believe that they've thought about the teachers and the students as much as they should have, as opposed to what saves money." 

LISTEN: Chisnallwood principal Richard Paton reacts to the news they will stay open

Prime Minister believes the end justifies the means

Prime Minister John Key says while he accepts its extremely difficult for those who will close, the end justifies the means.

"It's been a painful process for everybody involved.

"In the end, I am confident that it will deliver the best results for Cantabrians in the long term, and I certainly acknowledge the stress on those schools."

Photo / Scarlett Cvitanovich / Newstalk ZB

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