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Aorangi closure based on flawed information

Media Release, November 10 2009

Canterbury Principals: Aorangi closure based on flawed information and poor process

The Canterbury Primary Principals’ Association has added its voice to those opposing the closure of Aorangi School, calling on the Minister of Education to back down on her decision.

“The Minister’s decision to close the school is based on flawed information and poor process,” says Canterbury Primary Principals’ Association President Denise Torrey.

“It’s not true that local schools have the capacity to cater for extra students – if Aorangi closes, there will be a shortage of places in surrounding schools, not the surplus Anne Tolley has used to sell the closure. She needs to check her facts.”

Ms Torrey says the CPPA is also concerned about how the Minister has belatedly used achievement data as another reason to close the school.

“This information wasn’t presented by the Ministry as a reason for closure until right at the last minute. It was based on a narrow set of data and was not supported by a recent ERO report. Ms Tolley using this information flouts all of her earlier promises about what achievement data will be gathered for and how it will be used. This government seems quite prepared to use information, however narrow and myopic, to suit its own purposes.”

Denise Torrey says it is disappointing that the Minister, who has publicly stated that her government “…will not close schools if people don’t want them closed” has chosen to turn a deaf ear to the Aorangi community.

“The children of Aorangi School should not be the losers in a process whereby the local Ministry and Board have not been able to work together positively for a better outcome,” Ms Torrey says.

“The Minister needs to revisit the advice she has been given and make the correct decision for Aorangi School and its community by keeping the school open.”


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