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First new state schools in 22 years

27 November 2001 Media Statement

First new state schools in 22 years

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced funding for two new state secondary schools - the first to open in Auckland since 1979.

“The decision to establish the two form 3-7 (year 9-13) schools, in Auckland’s Howick South and Manurewa East, followed consultation with the local communities and schools,” Trevor Mallard said.

They are proposed to open in 2004.

"I would like to thank all parents, schools and community groups who have participated in the consultation processes. I have carefully considered their views and know that the establishment of these schools will be welcomed.”

The Government has allocated $31.2 million to build the new secondary schools. It will allow earthworks to commence but plans are yet to be approved.

“This funding allocation will ensure that the two schools are future-proofed and provide an optimal learning and teaching environment.

"By the time the schools open in 2004, it will have been 25 years since the last state secondary school, Macleans College in Howick, was built in Auckland.”

“Curriculum requirements and the operation of schools has changed significantly in that time so these schools may be very different from the secondary schools we are currently used to."

Last year the Ministry of Education contracted Critical Insight to consult with communities and education professionals to find out what they think should be considered when the schools are being designed. Further consultation was carried out recently on the type of school that should be established in each community.

"The Government and the Ministry are very keen to ensure that the design of each school is innovative and creates a stimulating learning environment, as well as functioning effectively for students, staff, management and the community."

"Even though these schools are being designed and built at the same time, it is likely that each will look very different as they will be designed to reflect the character and needs of each community."

"As well as needing to be innovative and oriented to the future needs of education, I am also very keen that they maximise energy efficiency.

“The Ministry has appointed design teams to draw up plans for each school, taking into account the findings of the consultation exercise. The design teams include property project managers, architects, Ministry of Education staff, local principals and teachers, and community group representatives.

“The Ministry has also sought community nominations for the schools' establishment boards of trustees and I will make appointments shortly. The boards will be responsible for appointing staff, including the principal, and working with the Ministry to ensure that the school is set up successfully.

"Last year a report was released which assessed school capacity in the Auckland region over the next 50 years. It showed that the government is well placed to meet increasing demand for schooling provision across Auckland. The meeting of milestones such as the opening of a new primary school in Howick South at the beginning of the year, planning for the new secondary schools, and the purchase of further sites, are evidence of a rigorous forward planning strategy to meet future demands on the Auckland schooling system," Trevor Mallard said.

Manurewa MP George Hawkins welcomed the announcement.

“We have a thriving network of schools in Manurewa to service our growing population. The new schools will complement other schools in the area and I am sure will continue to provide local families with high quality schooling,” George Hawkins said.


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