Salisbury School fate still being decided

ADAM ROBERTS
Last updated 13:00 11/08/2012

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It will be at least another month until the staff and students of Richmond's Salisbury School hear whether their school will stay open, as the Government considers a proposal to move to a new model of special education.

Education Minister Hekia Parata is considering submissions on a plan to move to a new "wrap-around" model for special education, which could result in the closure of one or more of the country's four residential special schools.

Board of trustees chairwoman Helen McDonnell said the school had received an updated timeline from the Education Ministry last week.

Initially the school had been told it would hear back on August 15, but the updated timeline showed a decision would be announced early next month.

The initial timeline had only been an estimate, she had been told.

Staff and students were waiting in anticipation of a positive result.

"I think [principal] Brenda Norris and the staff have been doing a fantastic job at keeping everybody as positive as possible under the circumstances," she said.

An effort was being made to keep the issue out of the students' minds, so their learning was not affected.

A spokeswoman for Ms Parata said she had received the ministry's report with its recommendations earlier this week, and would now consider her decision.

A ministry spokeswoman said there was no set date for any announcement.

"This is an important decision and the process must be completed carefully.

"Once the Minister has made a decision, it will be communicated in the first instance to the boards of the schools involved, and then to the public."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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