Schools all ears for ministry talks

The Education Ministry will discuss the rationale behind its education overhaul next week, two weeks into a community consultation period.

The Press reported yesterday that principals of 13 Christchurch schools slated to close and 25 that could undergo some from of merger had not seen detailed information used to justify the proposals.

Schools are two weeks into a consultation process to respond to the proposals.

Linwood Intermediate principal Lee Walker, whose school is earmarked to close, said every school he knew of had lodged requests for this information under the Official Information Act (OIA).

Principals wanted to see the information Education Minister Hekia Parata would use to make her decisions, he said.

Walker said he understood ministry representatives would meet affected schools individually next week.

The meetings could "speed up" the OIA process, which usually takes 21 days for requested information to be delivered.

"They will show all the data and rationale," he said.

Walker was surprised it had taken the ministry so long to release the data, given concerns "about the accuracy" of some information initially released to schools after last month's education renewal announcement.

Secretary for Education Lesley Longstone has admitted there were errors in ministry data used when the controversial changes were outlined.

The Press