|Name||Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti School|
Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti School
Address: 15 Nash Rd, Halswell, Christchurch
School type: Secondary (Year 9-13), decile 6
School roll change (from 2008 to July 2012): 382 to 381
Building damage: The school's central city building was demolished after the February 2011 earthquake.
Land status: n/a
The ministry's plan: Merge with Discovery 1 to be Year 1 to 13 on a new site.
Rationale for change: Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti School was located in the city centre and damage to its building has meant relocation to Halswell. Because it will take time for people to move back to the central city, the ministry expects less demand for inner-city education than before the earthquakes.
The Ministry of Education-proposed merger cannot come soon enough for Discovery 1 (D1) and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti (UPT).
However, they have asked the ministry to remove the roll cap imposed on them.
UPT board of trustees chairman Matthew Ayton said the roll cap was ''completely short-sighted''.
''By removing the cap, it will mean we can offer more diversity and deliver education in innovative and challenging ways. The timing will also allow us to account for the creation of hubs in our planning over the coming months,'' he said.
''This doesn't mean we necessarily want a school of 1500 kids in one place, but it would provide us with the potential to create learning hubs around Christchurch that could offer different learning opportunities reflecting the needs of the students.''
Under section 156 of the Education Act, the secretary for education must fix a maximum roll for designated character schools.
The school board must ensure that the number of pupils enrolled does not exceed the maximum roll.
Ayton said rebuilding one property in the central city will better accommodate the two schools.
''The longer the process takes, the more our options shrink as suitable buildings and sites are leased or sold,'' he said.
''Christchurch needs the vitality, vision and enthusiasm that our children will bring with them by returning to the city.''
Both schools hope to be back in the central city by the end of next year.
- © Fairfax NZ News