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Final decision for Russell Peninsula schools

Final decision for Russell Peninsula schools

Following a 28-day consultation period, Education Minister Trevor Mallard confirmed today his decision to close three Russell Peninsula schools and establish a new school, in the interests of the education of local students.

The schools to close are Helena Bay School, Ngaiotonga Valley School and Punaruku School, with a new full primary school to be established on the Punaruku School site from 2005. To ease the transition, the Ngaiotonga Valley School site will continue to operate as a second site of the new school for a further two years.

"The Ministry of Education has consulted affected boards of trustees on my behalf and I have carefully considered the information that has been presented to me.

"I recognise that some people will be disappointed by these decisions which I have not taken lightly. I have decided to close the schools because I want to achieve a sustainable network of high quality schooling for the next 10 to 15 years in the Russell Peninsula area. I am confident that the new school will provide much greater educational opportunities for local students," Trevor Mallard said.

The closures will take effect on 28 January 2005 and members of the new school's establishment board will be announced as soon as possible.

Trevor Mallard today also confirmed his decision to close Waikare School and establish a new, full primary, designated character school (Te Kura o Waikare) on the same site. This decision will take effect from the start of term 4, 2004.

"This decision allows the Waikare community to continue on their path of providing quality education in te reo Maori. There is clear support for this decision from the Waikare School staff and local community and I am confident that the new school will deliver a high quality education."

"I want to thank the current and previous boards and staff for the service they have given to their schools and students. I wish you all well in the development of the new schools," Trevor Mallard said.

A project manager will help schools with the implementation of the reorganisation. A resource for schools outlining the process and the next steps is available on the network review section of www.minedu.govt.nz

ENDS


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