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Proposal new school network for Matakaoa

Proposal new school network for Matakaoa

Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today a proposal for the future of Matakaoa schools on the East Coast that could unlock $1.3 million for local education.

"This review is 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 184 student places. I want education resources to be spent on teaching children, and not on maintaining under-used or empty buildings," Trevor Mallard said.

"It will also result in approximately an extra $557,000 in education development resources going to the merged school, $159,000 for joint education initiatives with other schools, and $606,000 for property work for the new school. This is in addition to the funds that schools involved in the merger will be entitled to under their five-year property plans.

"The review has been a chance for everyone to share ideas and work together to ensure Matakaoa schools provide a quality education that is sustainable well into the future," Trevor Mallard said.

Proposals under the review are:

· merge Wharekahika School, Whakaangiangi Schools and Te Waha O Rerekohu Area School on the Te Waha O Rerekohu site with Te Waha O Rerekohu Area School being the continuing school. The intention is that the new school will provide Year 1-8 education in Maori medium (levels 1-4) and English;

· retain Potaka School as a Year1 -8 mainstream school;

· Kawakawa mai Tawhiti to enter into the establishment process to become a (Te Aho Matua) Kura Kaupapa Maori for Year 1 - 8 on the Wharekahika site; and

· that further consideration to be given to the possibility of establishing two schools on the Te Waha O Rerekohu Area site. This will depend on where parents intend to enrol their children and the need to maintain a viable Year 9 -15 structure for the Matakaoa area.

Trevor Mallard expects to make his final decisions in April after further consultation with the schools involved. Any further submissions are 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 would 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: www.minedu.govt.nz from 4pm.

ENDS

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