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Proposed Chch School Closures: A Tale Of Two Policies

18 February 2013

Media Release:

Proposed Christchurch School Closures A Tale Of Two Policies

The Minister of Education’s decision to close and merge several local community schools in Christchurch is premature, unnecessary and insensitive.

Schools are the natural hubs of communities and in the city’s post-earthquake trauma they are nothing less than the glue which is holding them together.

They provide stability for children, an anchor point for families and a focus for community activity.

It is far from clear where growth will take place in post-earthquake Christchurch and at a future time it may be clear that some rationalising is needed but these are early days.

Education Minister Hekia Parata’s announcements today will further damage Christchurch’s most vulnerable communities.

It’s not possible to avoid comparing today’s announcement with the late January announcement of the government bailout for the failed Wanganui Collegiate School. In that case the consultation went on for several years and the school was “saved” with massive injections of state funding for the school’s wealthy clientele at a time when there was plenty of spare capacity in other local public schools in Wanganui.

It’s a tale of two policies – one for the wealthy families of a failed private school and the other for successful public schools holding their communities together in post-quake Christchurch.

QPEC will be urging the government to put its proposed changes on hold for two years until growth patterns are clear and the most vulnerable Christchurch communities are back on their feet.

John Minto
National Chairperson
Quality Public Education Coalition


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