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Wanganui Collegiate integration decision great for region

Wanganui Collegiate integration decision great for region

Wanganui Collegiate School says the government’s decision to integrate the school into the state school system is great news for the lower North Island region, and will help to preserve one of New Zealand’s most historic and prominent schools.

“Education Minister Hekia Parata’s decision allowing Wanganui Collegiate to integrate with the state school system will make seven-day boarding education far more accessible to families throughout the central North Island,” says WCS Board of Trustees Chair Tam Jex-Blake.

“When we applied to integrate, the government set a list of criteria the School had to meet, including aspects such as roll stabilisation and improving its finances. We have met all those criteria and the School is now in a much healthier state. With integration, it can now move forward.

“The decision is hugely welcome news for staff and students, parents, and the wider community. Integration will help the school to develop, which has been difficult in the tough economic climate of recent years. We thank the Minister and the Government for its decision.

“Wanganui Collegiate has an excellent academic record. It is the only seven day, co-educational boarding school in the North Island south of Hamilton. Its roll over the years has been dominated by farming families, who need to send their children to boarding schools.

“It is also a good decision for the Wanganui economy. We are a substantial business. The school’s economic impact is around $60 million annually and it employs around 125 people. The significant economic contribution it makes to Wanganui will now continue.

“The School is also an important part of Wanganui’s visitor infrastructure. With its extensive grounds and accommodation facilities, it hosts conferences and large sporting events during holiday periods, bringing visitors to the city.

“The School has a unique character and proud history. It was founded in 1854. It has educated Governors- General, senior judges, leading member of business and iwi, Government Ministers and MPs, many All Blacks and prominent NZ sports representatives, along with farming and other community leaders. Integration will make the school sustainable in the long term and allow its proud traditions to continue.”

The Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975 provides for a private school with a special character to negotiate, at the discretion of the Minister of Education, with the Minister on entering an integration agreement. On integration, a school becomes established as part of the state system of education, with the special character that it provides being preserved and safeguarded.


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