Aorangi students swell Burnside's muster

Burnside Primary School faces a big roll growth as it takes pupils from the closed Aorangi School.

Burnside principal Matt Bateman said the school would open next week with 290 pupils, up from 220 at the start of last year. He expects the school to grow by another 60 pupils during the year.

About 40 of the new pupils are from Aorangi School, which was officially closed yesterday after Education Minister Anne Tolley decided it should shut. The closure decision was confirmed four days before Christmas after a High Court hearing, leaving schools little time to prepare for an influx of pupils.

Burnside has enrolled about half of Aorangi's 88 pupils, with the rest scattered around Christchurch, at schools including Cobham Intermediate and Wairakei, Bishopdale, Spreydon and Shirley primary schools.

Aorangi's bilingual unit is being moved to Burnside.

Bateman said he had had only three days off since the holidays began. He showed prospective pupils and their parents around on Christmas Day.

Three temporary classrooms were moved to the school yesterday and another classroom was delivered to neighbouring Cobham Intermediate.

The Press