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Reorganising schooling in Marton

Education Minister Trevor Mallard has instructed the Ministry of Education to begin formal procedures to consider closing two Marton schools.

Trevor Mallard said the Ministry would start the consultation process with a view to closing Rangitikei Intermediate and James Cook School. Under the proposal Marton School and Marton Junction School would be recapitated to take students up to Year 8 (form two).

"There is a general acceptance within the town that schooling does need to be reorganised.

"The population is declining and the status quo of three primary schools, an intermediate and a secondary school is not the most sensible option for a town the size of Marton.

"In developing the proposal announced today, the Ministry of Education took into account demographic information, geographic information, and education programmes of a special nature.

"Weighting was given to long term sustainability, school capacities, delivery of programmes to Maori and distances between schools.

"While this is by no means a final decision, it is what we see as the best option based on the information available. A final decision will be made after community consultation and in time for the start of the next school year," Trevor Mallard said.

Support offered to the schools and the community over the next few months will include a change manager to manage the process and an industrial chaplain service for staff at the affected schools.

A decision would also be made on the best option for delivering the technology curriculum for the intermediate school aged children.

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