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Final decision on Turangi schools announced

Final decision on Turangi schools announced

Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today his final decisions on the review of schools in the Turangi area, a move that will unlock around $1.6 million in extra resources for the education of local students.

"I have been impressed with the level and depth of the advice that has been received and the level of support shown by Tuwharetoa. I would like to thank all those involved in this project and look forward to Turangi students having access to quality education now and in the future.

"I am confident that the needs of the local Maori community will be better met by the establishment (under section 156 of the Education Act) of a new Wharekura and that all students will enjoy the benefits of the operational resources released to individual schools.

"Using current estimates, an extra $926,000 in operational funding will be available to schools. There will be a fund of $264,000 for schools to use jointly, and $459,000 of extra property funding. " Trevor Mallard said.

The review decisions are:

· To close Hirangi, Turangi, Tongariro High and Tauranga Taupo Schools and establish a single Year 1 - 15 composite school on the Tongariro High School site;

· To establish a new Wharekura for Year 1 -15 students who wish to receive their education in te reo Maori, on the Hirangi School site;

· To retain Kuratau School as an autonomous full primary school.

It is proposed that the two new schools be named "Turangi ki Tongariro Area School" and "Te Kura o Hirangi".

All the changes, including the opening of the new schools, will take effect from the start of the 2004 school year.

"I have asked the Ministry of Education to work closely with schools to make sure their requirements for a smooth changeover are met, including a request for the primary schools and Tongariro High School to finish Term 4 2003 at the same time," Trevor Mallard said.

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