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PM should ensure Chch schools get Collegiate treatment

26 February 2013

PM should ensure Christchurch schools get Collegiate treatment

The Green Party is calling on the Prime Minister to insist that the same criteria he cited for bailing out Wanganui Collegiate is used in decisions over the future of Christchurch Intermediate and primary schools.

Official papers show the Government bucked advice from the Education Ministry and overruled the initial decision of the Education Minister when it opted to bail out Wanganui Collegiate to the tune of $3 million a year.

“John Key says it was a ‘line ball call’ based on the school’s long history, record and strong community support and, to be fair, we think he should apply the same logic to schools in Christchurch faced with the axe,” the Green Party’s Christchurch Education Renewal spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“You’ve got to wonder if John Key rates the community support, record and history of lower decile primary and intermediates in Christchurch as meaningfully as he rated the support for a struggling private school where the privileged have traditionally sent their kids.

“Christchurch schools on the block have told me they are having problems extracting crucial data from the Education Ministry that they need to make their case for survival.

“While ministers went out of their way to ensure that Wanganui Collegiate survived, despite a falling roll and opposition from local schools, John Key should at least ensure that Christchurch schools get the information they’re entitled to.

“We would like to see John Key and his cabinet colleagues intervene to the same extent in decisions to close several Christchurch schools and ensure that their strong community support, history and record also determines whether they should survive,” Ms Delahunty said.

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