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Salisbury School Board Thrilled With Decision To Keep School

Salisbury School Board Thrilled With Decision To Keep School Open

Salisbury Board Chair Helen McDonnell says the school is thrilled that the Education Minister has decided to keep Salisbury School open into the future.

The Minister of Education Hon Hekia Parata met with Salisbury School students and the Board this morning and confirmed that Salisbury will remain open as part of the delivery of service within the new Intensive Wrap-Around Service, along with the other two residential special schools.

Helen McDonnell says that the hard work by the Board and the school’s supporters for over a year has ensured that the Minister understood the importance of retaining a single sex residential option for girls with complex intellectual needs.

“We are absolutely delighted that the Minister has confirmed our future,” McDonnell says. “She was very clear with us about her vision for special education in New Zealand, and could see how Salisbury School fitted into the mix.

We look forward to working closely with Halswell Residential College and Westbridge Residential School as we move ahead with confidence.

“The Board would like to thank all the support behind the scenes from Nelson MP Nick Smith, Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne and Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio, and of course our legal team at Chen Palmer,” she says.

“We also could not have continued without the support of the local and national media, who respectfully understood what we were fighting for – the girls!

“A huge amount of work has gone into keeping Salisbury School open for our vulnerable female students, and everyone involved worked tremendously well together, unrelenting on our focus on the students’ safety and learning outcomes,” she says.

“We have been given an assurance from Brian Coffey from the Education Ministry that the school’s actual roll should be approximately 30 students in the latter half of this year, which means we will be a financially viable school,” she says. “We have always been concerned that this year’s sinking roll would mean that staying open would not be at all practical. After this morning, we now have confidence that we will have a sustainable school for our students.
Everyone here is thrilled with today’s news.”
This morning, the Minister also commenced a process towards appointing one board across all three residential special schools. Salisbury will contribute to this process.

ENDS

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