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Christchurch Earthquake - MOE Update, 22 February 2011

Christchurch Earthquake - Ministry of Education Update, 22 February 2011

Ministry of Education information for parents, schools and ECE centres

The first priority for schools and ECE services is the safety of children, students and staff.

Schools and ECE centres should follow their emergency plans. These should include ensuring the ongoing care and wellbeing of children, students and staff. Parents may come to the school or ECE centre to take children home. Schools and centres should support parents in this action. If children or students are unable to return home with parents, schools and centres should take appropriate action to ensure their on-going care, safety and supervision by staff.

Civil Defence is currently deciding whether to close schools or ECE services. Boards of trustees should close a school if they have any concerns about the safety and welfare of students and staff. In the case of ECE services, this decision is made by the licensee or service provider. Listen to Civil Defence updates by radio. We will update this website immediately if there are any changes or specific instructions from authorities about schools or ECE services closing.

Currently (2.30pm Tuesday 22nd February) it is not known how many schools or ECE services have suffered damage or injury to students, children or staff. Schools and ECE centres should consider closing tomorrow until such time as the situation is clear and safety can be assured.

Boards and ECE service providers will need to consider health and safety issues, the condition of their school and centres, and infrastructure, including whether water is available and safe, and transport and power are available. If boards or services decide to close, they should inform the Ministry of Education as soon as they are able.

The Ministry also asks that school principals, when they are able and only when it is safe to do so, to contact the Ministry with an assessment of their school or centre. In all cases schools should take advice from local authorities about safety, and should only enter buildings when it is safe to do so.

If schools or ECE services require more information than provided above, the Ministry has established a call centre on 0800 225 580 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0800 225 580      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. The call centre is active now and will stay open until 9.00pm tonight.

The Ministry will keep its website - www.minedu.govt.nz - updated with information and advice for schools and ECE services. We will also broadcast messages on Twitter. Follow @MineducationNZ

ENDS


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