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Proposal Announced For Taranaki Schools

Proposal Announced For Taranaki Schools

Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today a proposal for the future of the South Egmont and Okato school networks that could unlock $7.5 million for local education.

"These reviews are about making sure local education stays strong and of a high quality to withstand the pressures of declining rolls and the current surplus capacity of 890 student places. I want education resources to be spent on teaching children, and not on maintaining under-used or empty buildings. "The proposed re-organisation will provide parents and students with a well-resourced, accessible and sustainable schooling network.

"For the South Egmont school network, it will result in approximately an extra $1.4 million in education development resources within individual schools, $410,000 for joint education initiatives, and $1.6 million for property work being ploughed back into schools for the benefit of local students.

"For the Okato school network, it will result in approximately an extra $1.4 million in education development resources within individual schools, $400,000 for joint education initiatives, and $2.3 million for property work being ploughed back into schools for the benefit of local students.

"For both areas, this extra funding is in addition to the funds that schools in the area will be entitled to under their five-year property plans.

"These reviews have been a chance for everyone to share ideas and work together to ensure local schools provide a quality education that is sustainable well into the future," Trevor Mallard said.

Proposals under the reviews are:

South EgmontKaponga School, Kapuni School and Mahoe School merge on the Kaponga School site to form a full primary school with Kaponga School being the continuing school;Manaia School and Tokaora School merge on the Manaia School site to form a full primary school with Manaia School being the continuing school; andMangatoki School, Okaiawa School and Matapu School merge on the Matapu School site to form a full primary school with Matapu School being the continuing school.

Okatoretain Omata School and Oakura School;close Okato College, Okato Primary School, Newall School and Warea School and establish a new Year 1 - 15 composite school on the Okato College site; andmerge Pungarehu School with Rahotu School on the Rahotu site.

Trevor Mallard expects to make his final decisions in April after further consultation with the schools involved. Any further submissions are to be made through their boards of trustees. The Ministry of Education will then work closely with schools to ensure a smooth transition so changes are in place for the 2005 school year.

The board of each continuing school will manage the transition period and govern the proposed new school until elections can be held. One person will be seconded to that board from each of the other merging schools.

The ministry's submission to the minister will be available on the network review section of the ministry's website at 4pm.

ENDS

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