Parata has 'listened to feedback'

Last updated 12:58 15/02/2013

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Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has made some changes to her planned shake-up of Christchurch schools.

The Government will announce interim decisions for 31 schools earmarked for possible closure or merger as part of its ''education renewal plans'' for the city at noon on Monday.

Schools will have six weeks to respond to those decisions. A final decision on the schools will be made in late May.

The 31 affected schools have a total roll of about 5500 kids, or 7.6 per cent of the school population in greater Christchurch.

The schools will be informed of the interim decisions first on Monday, at their schools as they have requested, before the decisions are publicly announced at noon.

A letter for parents will also be sent home with all children at the affected schools outlining the decisions and what it means for them.

Information about each school will be available on the shapingeducation.govt.nz website.

An 0800 number has been set up, which parents can call if they have any questions. That number is 0800 746 338 and will be active from noon Monday.

Parata thanked schools and communities for their feedback.

"I appreciate the time they set aside to tell me their thoughts on the future of schooling in greater Christchurch. Their feedback helped me get a real sense of each community.

"What I can tell you about Monday's announcement is that I have listened to feedback from parents and schools and made some changes to our proposals."

A series of community meetings is also planned over the coming weeks.

"We appreciate that parents are busy and it might not be possible for some to hear the interim decisions directly from their schools so we have made sure there are plenty of avenues available where they can get the information they need.

"I acknowledge change is difficult and, in making these decisions, I am mindful the people and families of greater Christchurch have been through a lot,'' Parata said.

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- The Press

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