Fears centre will go if schools merge

19:29, Nov 23 2012
Gina Damerow-Stephen
LEARNING CURVE: Gina Damerow-Stephen of Diamond Harbour School works on her creation during the metal works class at the Phillipstown Technology centre which is under threat.

The future of a popular Christchurch school's technology centre is in doubt.

More than 1200 pupils from 30 schools in Christchurch make use of Phillipstown School's technology centre, to learn a wide range of skills including nutrition and working with plastics and metals.

However, the school is due to merge with Woolston Primary and the centre's future is unclear.

Phillipstown School principal Tony Simpson said the Ministry of Education would not clarify what would happen to the centre in the merger.

It had been suggested that the school might be relocated to Woolston School but details were scant, he said.

"We have been unsuccessful in getting anything official from them."

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Simpson said it would be a "real shame" if the school's bustling technology centre was lost in the merger.

"It would be terrible if this centre was changed or in any way diminished by the merger.

"We have all the machinery and everything working here. It doesn't make much sense to move it."

The centre had a long history at the school, Simpson said.

"We've had this centre on our records since 1907. That's 135 years of providing quality education to children in Canterbury."

Simpson said the children loved the centre and learnt valuable skills. "We get glowing reports from the other children's schools about the centre so it is mystifying why the ministry hasn't seemed to take it into account."

The Press