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Parakao School To Close

Parakao School near Whangarei will not re-open next year, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

The decision to close the school was made with the full agreement of the local community and the support of other schools nearby. The school’s official closure day is 25 January 2000.

Trevor Mallard said closure had been formally requested by the school’s board of trustees in November due to a declining roll, poor curriculum delivery, and an unsafe teaching and learning environment. The school had had three principals since 1996 and its roll had declined to just 18 students.

Following the board’s request, the Ministry of Education had consulted the board as well as Mangakahia Area School and Pakatai School, as required under the Education Act. Both schools supported the closure and confirmed they could accommodate the Parakao students.

“The closure of a school is a sad time for any community but this is a result of a local initiative where the community believed the school’s closure was in the best interests of its children. The decision will give students access to a high quality education in the area.

“It’s important on this occasion to acknowledge that the community and local iwi were supportive of this closure. A final decision was made only after full consideration of all of the information and views gathered in the consultation phase,” Trevor Mallard said.

Pakatai School is 6.8km from Parakao, while Mangakahia Area School is 12.2kms away on a direct bus route.

Trevor Mallard said no decision had yet been made about the future use of the school site, and the Ministry would take suggestions from the community for using the buildings for wider community purposes.

ends

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