Lack of demand delays new primary school

KAY BLUNDELL
Last updated 05:00 29/07/2014

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The long-awaited development of a new primary school and early childhood centre in Waikanae - originally planned to open last year - has been delayed for about five years because of falling school roll trends.

The Government announced in 2010 that it had bought a $3 million, three-hectare site in north Waikanae - opposite the new Ryman retirement village - indicating it planned to open it in 2013. Plans at that stage were for the school to cater for 200 pupils when it opened, with room to expand to 400.

But Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said yesterday that current roll trends and the rate of population growth did not show any demand for a new school in the area.

"We do not anticipate that a new school will be required within the next five years," she said.

There are two primary schools in Waikanae at present. Latest statistics show that, as of March 1 this year, Waikanae School's roll had fallen over the past four years. The roll numbered 407 pupils, from 507 on March 1, 2010.

Kapanui School's roll increased by 23 students during the same period, from 499 to 522.

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- The Dominion Post

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