Promised school not needed yet

Lincoln Primary will have to almost double its roll before a new school is needed in the town, principal Vivienne Butcher says.

Last week Education Minister Hekia Parata said six new schools are likely to be built in Canterbury over the next 10 years, with Lincoln getting one.

The fate of 31 others will be announced on Monday, with Greenpark School - just outside Lincoln - one of them.

Mrs Butcher said the Lincoln roll of just under 400 was growing slowly, but steadily. It would have to reach a "trigger point" of 700 before there would be a need for a new school, so it was not pressing and "not even really discussed".

The roll was 430 at the end of last year.

By July, it would be ahead of roll projections, but the need for a new primary school would be several years away.

It was hard to predict just when it would be required. However, it was part of a 10-year plan for the town.

While there was growth in subdivisions in the town, the demographics of who would move there and if they had, or would have, school-age children was difficult to foresee.

The school is approaching classroom capacity, but there are plans for a new building, which should accommodate any growth.

Mrs Butcher was surprised at media reports about the new school.

The most pressing need for a new school in the district was in Rolleston.

Yaldhurst Model School deputy principal Ann Marie Garden said her school, earmarked for merger with Gilberthorpe School in Christchurch, was prepared for whichever way the decision by the Ministry of Education goes on Monday.

There would be extra staff on hand to take classes and help teachers if the news was negative.

She had been told after a meeting last week that Ministry staff would come to the school between 8.30am and 11am, and there would be an announcement by the Minister of Education at midday.

The school will send a letter to parents, but envisages calling a community meeting to inform parents after the announcement.

Both schools involved in the merger will hear at the same time, so the news is not released early.

Ms Garden said the ministry had listened to the schools, so there would be no repeat of the situation when the initial proposal was leaked last year and many parents were informed by the media.

(Live Matches)