Ministry assisting troubled schools in Marlborough and Kaikoura

Marlborough Boys' College is one of four Marlborough schools to come under intervention in the past five years.

Marlborough Boys' College is one of four Marlborough schools to come under intervention in the past five years.

Five schools in the greater Marlborough region have needed intervention from the Ministry of Education in the past five years.

And one those schools is still under statutory management. 

Rai Valley Area School, Marlborough Boys' College, Kaikoura High School, Wairau Valley School and St Joseph's School, in Picton, have been placed under intervention in the past five years. 

Ministry of Education enablement and support deputy secretary Katrina Casey said the ministry only intervened if there was a risk to the operation of the school, to student achievement, or to student welfare and safety.

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Interventions ranged from the ministry asking schools to provide information, to the dissolution of the school board of trustees and the appointment of a commissioner to replace them. 

Ministry data showed a limited statutory manager, with "employment and financial" powers, had been in place at Kaikoura High School since July last year.

School board of trustees chairman Richard Cotter said the intervention was "working out fantastically" for the school. 

The Education Review Office recommended the school come under statutory management last year, Cotter said. 

He would not say why the intervention was necessary. 

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The Marlborough Boys' College was under intervention for more than a year between 2010 and 2011, when a statutory manager was appointed. 

That followed an earlier intervention in 2009, after the college ran into financial trouble following an attempt to set up an international school. 

A commissioner ran Rai Valley Area School between 2011 and 2014, Casey said. 

The school boards and principals had all worked hard to address the issues they were facing, she said.

Data released under the Official Information Act last month revealed Nelson was the only region in the country where there were no interventions. 

The region with the highest number of interventions in the country was Northland, with 49. 

Marlborough was lagging behind Tasman, which only had one intervention. 

Casey said some of the interventions in the region were short term. 

"The remaining one at Kaikoura High School will soon be reviewed with a view to closing that one too," she said. 

"The schools' commitment to doing the best for their students is shown by, among other things, the willingness of all the schools to join one of the three Communities of Learning in the area." 

Nationally, there were nearly 300 interventions in schools over the five-year period. 

 - The Marlborough Express


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