Lyttelton pragmatic over school merger

'We need to do what's best for Lyttelton'

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 08:28 14/09/2012
Laura Hopper
Stacy Squires
PRAGMATIC: Laura Hopper leaves Lyttelton Main School yesterday with daughter Aarliah-Rose Davis, 6.

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Lyttelton will rally behind a merger of its two primary schools, despite concerns about the proposal, parents say.

Lyttelton Main and Lyttelton West schools are set to merge on Lyttelton Main's grounds as part of an education shakeup in Canterbury.

The schools surveyed parents on a possible merger last year, and most were opposed.

Parents at the two schools yesterday had mixed emotions about the Government's announcement.

Martin McFetridge, who has two sons at Lyttelton Main, said there could be some positives from the move. "It doesn't bother me too much. We're not a very big community, so we're small enough - and big enough - to have one bigger school."

While both schools had their own histories, the community needed to be pragmatic about the post-earthquake reality.

"I'd rather combine two schools and have one than lose both and have to travel over the hill," McFetridge said.

Laura Hopper, who has a daughter at Lyttelton Main, said she was "on the fence" about the merger. "It's good to have an option, but we do need to do what's best for Lyttelton."

At Lyttelton West, parent Erica Viedma said she was "shocked" by the announcement.

"We only voted last year and decided we didn't want to merge, so I assumed that was pretty much the end of it."

Viedma, who has one son at the school and another at kindergarten, said the proposal would be a blow to some residents.

"We escaped damage from the earthquake, so for this to be the thing that hits us the most is pretty shocking," she said.

Tessa Bowden, who has two girls at Lyttelton West, was saddened rather than surprised at the news. "I love this little school and we've got a really good community here."

She said the community would make sure there were some positives from the decision.

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- The Press

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