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Halswell welcomes Minister’s Decision

Halswell welcomes Minister’s Decision for two co-ed national residential schools

Christchurch, 27 August 2012

“The Board welcomes today’s announcement by the Minister of Education on a new intensive wrap-around special education service,” says Dr Simon Buckland, chair of Halswell Residential College in Christchurch.

In May, the Ministry of Education commenced a consultation on the new service and the future role of residential special schools. The Ministry had proposed that the four existing residential special schools could close, with their services replaced by an extended wrap-around service in local school settings.

The Board submitted that a residential component was necessary as part of a continuum of services available for students with complex needs. The Minister’s preliminary decision means that two residential schools will remain open, with the new service commencing in 2013.

“The last few months have been an uncertain time,” said Dr Buckland.
“The preliminary decision provides some certainty for staff, students and their family and whanau. It is important now that we all move forward together.”

”The Board is heartened that alongside the Minister’s decision to retain two national co-ed residential schools, the proposed extension of the wrap-around service for learners in their local school setting, will together offer seamless and integrated support for learners. It will mean that a larger number of vulnerable children with special needs can be supported with their learning and development than the current model can provide,” said Dr Buckland.

Details of how the decision will be implemented are to be developed further, but in the interim, Halswell’s Board and management team are looking forward to a continued dialogue with the Ministry.

“We believe this is a great outcome for those students needing residential services now and in the future,” Janine Harrington, acting Principal of Halswell Residential College says. “We know there is much work to be done to ensure a seamless transition into a new model. We look forward to working together with the Ministry and the sector to provide the best possible outcome for children with learning and behavioural difficulties.”

A copy of the College’s full submission on the Ministry of Education’s consultation is available at: http://www.halswellcollege.com/news/FINAL%20HRC%20Board%20Submission%20to%20MOE%20Consultation%20Public.pdf/view

ENDS

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