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Agreement to combine two Christchurch Catholic primaries

25 June 2013 (strictly embargoed until 4pm to allow school communities to be informed)

PRESS RELEASE

Agreement in principle for two Christchurch Catholic primary schools to combine

Following the earthquakes and the red-zoning of St Paul’s School, Dallington, the Catholic Diocese undertook a community consultation on a proposal to combine St Paul’s School and Our Lady of Fatima School to form a new school on the current site of Our Lady of Fatima School in Mairehau.

After considering the community consultation report, the Bishop of Christchurch requested the Minister of Education to give consideration to agreeing to the provision of:

• a new state integrated full primary school entity (to be named St Francis of Assisi Catholic School),
• with a maximum roll of 495 students,
• situated on the St Francis of Assisi Parish site at 370 Innes Road,
• commencing in term 1, 2016.

Education Minister Hekia Parata has agreed in principle to Bishop Barry Jones’ request.

Mike Nolan, manager, Catholic Education Office, said that the Bishop will now undertake a further round of consultation on three options for developing this Catholic schooling provision:

Option 1: Cancel the integration agreements for both current schools and establish a new state integrated school on the current Our Lady of Fatima School site. In this option all positions at both schools would be terminated and positions at the new school would be advertised nationally.

Option 2: Cancel the integration agreement and close St Paul’s School and increase the maximum roll of Our Lady of Fatima School and re-name the larger ‘new school entity’. In this option the staff of St Paul’s School would lose their positions and the new positions at Our Lady of Fatima School would be advertised nationally.

Option 3: Cancel the integration agreement and close St Paul’s School and increase the maximum roll of Our Lady of Fatima School and manage the staffing of the larger (and re-named) Our Lady of Fatima School as a merger. In this option the staff from both schools would have the first option of equivalent positions in the ‘new schooling entity’ with the principal’s position being advertised nationally. This option could only apply in the event that both boards and all staff unanimously support this as the appropriate option.

“This further round of consultation is limited to the affected parties - the boards (the employers) and the staff (the employees) of the two schools,” he said.

As a result of the Bishop’s prior consultation process on the provision of Sunday Mass in the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch, St Paul’s, Holy Family (Burwood) and Our Lady of Fatima parishes have combined to form St Francis of Assisi Parish, Mairehau.

ENDS

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