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Cosgrove in the zone again

DUBBY HENRY
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2014
Gus Klein

ZONED OUT: Cosgrove Primary School principal Gus Klein says it is time for the school to bring back the zone.

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One of the last zone-free schools in Papakura is set to bring back an enrolment zone next month.

Cosgrove Primary School will reintroduce the zone on March 16 and it won't be before time, principal Gus Klein says.

Nearly half Cosgrove's students are from outside its new zone and many are much closer to other schools, he says.

"Parents are choosing to send their children here but actually we would prefer children to go to and be supporting their local school."

Mr Klein says the Ministry of Education told him to remove the zone in 2008, allowing kids from anywhere to enrol.

The roll "shot up" as a result.

The ministry reversed its recommendation last year and Mr Klein reckons that's because it was costing the government too much to keep building new classes to house the extra children.

"In the last couple of years it's escalated so now our roll is climbing by 40 kids a year.

"We have no maximum so we can't say no."

Numbers stood at 660 at the end of 2013.

The ministry is building six new classrooms and in the interim has 12 prefabs on the field.

Cosgrove has consulted surrounding schools and has set a new zone slightly different from its previous boundaries, taking in more houses south of Clevedon Rd and parts of Takanini.

The roll should dip over time. Many out-of-zone kids come from transient families and if they leave during the year they won't be replaced, Mr Klein says.

But new housing developments in Takanini and Papakura North will soon boost numbers. The change doesn't affect kids who are now enrolled and younger siblings of present out-of-zoners will get priority in future.

Ballots will be introduced at some point but this year the roll is too full to take extra children, he says. Enrolments for years 1 to 6 are still open for out-of-zone children until March 16. But if a child turns 5 after that date they will not be eligible.

Go to cosgrove.school.nz to see the new zone boundaries, or visit the school.

Call 298 8365 or pop in to 10 Cosgrave Rd to ask about enrolment.

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- Papakura Courier

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