Principals question Education Ministry's data
Principals are worried the Government is using wrong information to make decisions on the future of some Christchurch schools.
But the Education Ministry is standing behind its data.
Several schools proposed to be closed or merged say the ministry's information provided to them last week is full of inaccuracies and misleading information.
Schools across the city were thrown into turmoil last week when Education Minister Hekia Parata announced proposals to close 13 schools, merge 18 into nine, relocate seven schools and close another five and make them part of a single campus in Aranui for year 1 to 13 pupils.
Woolston School principal Janeane Reid said the ministry had got the school's roll and the number of classrooms wrong.
"There was very little information that was accurate."
She was concerned the information has been used to justify moving the school from its existing Ferry Rd site and merging it with Phillipstown School at Linwood College in Aldwins Rd.
It is proposed to move Linwood College to its lower fields in Ferry Rd.
Reid said there was no mention that Woolston School had a $1.3 million building upgrade less than two years ago or it being home to a community dental centre.
Those were important aspects that should be taken into account, she said.
Woolston School board chairman Dave Turnbull said he had requested all information the ministry used in making the proposal to merge and relocate the school.
"At this stage we do not have anything to enable us to give a measured intelligent response. We can't afford the emotional outburst, but we do need good data," he said.
When The Press this week asked the ministry questions about Woolston School it said its roll was 220, but Reid said it was 265 and growing.
Reid was unaware until told by The Press that the school's site was tipped to become a technology hub for the area, replacing the technology centre at Phillipstown School.
A ministry spokesman said the roll data provided to schools was based on March figures.
"Schools can have confidence the proposals are based on the best information to hand, which has been drawn from a variety of sources and provided in good faith," the ministry said.
Linwood Avenue School acting principal Trevor Proctor said ministry information showed the school had 50 fewer pupils than it did.
The ministry said there was quake damage in every building, but that was not the case, he said.
It was proposed to move his school to Bromley School.
Ouruhia School principal Mark Ashmore-Smith said some of the "facts" about the school provided by the ministry were "incorrect and misleading".
"If they were used by the minister to make the decision to close Ouruhia, then that decision needs to be revisited," he said.
Greenpark School teacher-principal Andrea Klassen said the ministry appeared to have used incorrect information when considering closing the school.
She said the school had been told it had seven buildings and three needed strengthening, but Klassen did not know the school had seven buildings.
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