21 May 2008
Albany botch-up shows dangers of middle schools – PPTA
The continuing botch-up over the Albany Senior High School site should be a lesson for Ministry officials about ever considering a junior/senior split for secondary schooling, PPTA president Robin Duff says.
The school will be forced to open a makeshift campus next year on the Albany Junior High site, in the face of appeals under the Resource Management Act by the Auckland Regional Council, the North Shore City Council, North Harbour Stadium, North Shore Domain and a residents’ group.
“The fact is if a standard year 7 to 13 secondary school had been built in Albany in the first place, none of these problems would have eventuated,” Mr Duff said.
PPTA has been concerned at the Ministry of Education’s apparent focus on building new middle schools.
“The Albany situation clearly highlights the dangers of not considering secondary schooling holistically. It suggests an unthinking commitment to a school system unsupported by convincing evidence, when other countries are moving away from it.
“All changes of school structure set back learning to some extent, but to subject students at year 11 to a completely new learning environment in their first year of NCEA national examinations is extremely risky,” he said.
“The Ministry needs to guarantee that parents in other areas where there is school restructuring that it will stop pressing for unwanted experimental school structures”.