College report delayed

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 10:22 21/05/2014

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Education Minister Hekia Parata will visit Blenheim next week, as part of her regular visits around the country, says her spokeswoman.

The minister is due to receive a report on the future of Blenheim's secondary schooling, but acting press secretary Catherine Delore said that was not the reason for her visit.

It has not been confirmed which days Parata will be in the region.

"The minister visits different parts of country on a continuous basis to meet with the educators," she said.

"She will need time to read and consider the [Marlborough] report once she receives it, so the next steps will be a little while off."

Ministry head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said the report would have been given to the minister before now, but further research on three options needs to be completed.

The report, prepared by independent facilitator Janet Kelly in March, identified six possible schooling options.

That was reduced to three in a meeting with the ministry's regional staff, college principals and board chairmen.

The three options were: the two single sex colleges side-by-side on the one site, with some tertiary input as well; the status quo; and a new build co-educational college.

"Decisions on the next steps and timeframes will be identified once the minister has had the opportunity to fully consider the information in our report, and the wider implications associated with a decision of this importance," Casey said.

People in Marlborough were asked in December and January to give their views on what secondary schooling in Blenheim should be.

Both Marlborough Boys' College and Marlborough Girls' College need work done to their buildings.

This prompted the ministry to see if the community wanted to change how students were educated before spending the large amounts of money on repairing properties.

More than 350 people provided their views to Ms Kelly and were included in the report.

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