Kawerau Intermediate Board Statement on school closures
Petrina Hayes Board of Trustees Chairperson
The Kawerau Intermediate Board are hugely disappointed with the decision by the Minister of Education, Anne Tolley, to close the Intermediate and the College at the end of 2012, and reopen a new dual campus school on the Kawerau College site in 2013, bringing an end to specialised Intermediate schooling in Kawerau, against the wishes of the Kawerau Community.
Earlier in the year, the Minister presented “her” options for the community to consult on. The community were then asked to consult and come up with a long term sustainable structure for education. Kawerau achieved that in the first round of consultation, however, now after 12 months of extensive exhaustive consultation, with the outcome being an overwhelmingly support by four of the six schools, 80% of the Kawerau Community, and the Kawerau District Council for Option B, that would retain a three tiered education structure in Kawerau, two primary, an intermediate and College, the Minister has still chosen closure.
The voice of the Kawerau community has not been heard, democracy has failed, and an injustice has been delivered, to the people and the education of children in Kawerau. The community will make this work, if it is the right decision for them. Empower the community and it will work.
The impact of the Ministers decision to merge three of the primary schools has already created division amongst the children, parents, teachers, and community, when it should have been a decision that would unite. Delayed decisions, changing processes, changing options, has only exacerbated the situation.
The answer, the resolution is easy, and will work if the community are listened to, that’s why option B was the chosen option, empower the community, provide the expertise , and it will work. Our school motto, He Iwi Kotahi Tatou, We stand as One, now is the time.
The Board extend an invitation to the community, to attend a community hui, on Tuesday 15th November, 7.00pm, in the Intermediate Hall. Yours view will be listened to and be part of the schools final submission to the Minster of Education.