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Support for Canterbury schools and students

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Education

27 February 2011 Media Statement

Support for Canterbury schools and students

Education Minister Anne Tolley says schools and ECE services in Christchurch City remain closed until further notice, as the extent of damage to school property becomes clearer following the devastating earthquake.

“The Ministry has now identified 18 state schools with major damage as a result of the earthquake,” says Mrs Tolley.

“This is in addition to eleven state-integrated schools and five independent schools which have reported significant damage.

“So far, 100 schools have been assessed as having minor level damage.

“We are currently working on plans to get students back into some form of learning as quickly as possible, and this will rely on flexibility from schools, teachers and students.

“This range of options includes temporary sites for some schools, teaching in relocateable classrooms which are being sourced from around New Zealand, and providing relief teacher support where necessary.

“We are focused on getting students back into education, and reopening schools that have suffered only minor damage, as quickly as circumstances allow.”

The Ministry is continuing to assess the safety of schools and damage to property, while offering advice and support to principals and teachers.

Schools in Waimakariri and Selwyn can choose to open from tomorrow, but boards must satisfy health and safety requirements. If they have staffing issues then they should contact the Ministry as soon as possible.

Parents in these areas should contact their school for further information. The Ministry website at www.minedu.govt.nz will be constantly updated with information on school openings.

The Ministry is offering support through its traumatic incident service, which can be contacted on 0800 848 326.

There is also a helpline for schools and ECE staff wanting further information on 0800 225 580.

There are 215 schools, with a total of around 76,000 students, in the Christchurch City, Selwyn and Waimakariri areas, and 415 ECE services.

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