|Name||Discovery 1 School|
Discovery 1 School
Address: 90 McMahon Dr, Halswell, Christchurch
School type: Full primary (Year 1-8), decile 6
Roll change (from 2008 to July 2012): 180 to 168
Earthquake damage: The school's rented central-city premises have been demolished.
Land status: n/a
The ministry's plan: Merge with Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti to be Year 1 to 13 on a new site.
Rationale for change: It will take time for people to return to the central city and the ministry predicts there will be less demand for inner-city schools than before the February 2011 earthquake.
Board of trustees chairwoman Karen Wylaars: ''Our rationale is reasonably accurate and fair.''
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
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