Central New Brighton School

Lydia Rouse's 12th birthday wish has come true.

The Central New Brighton School pupil, whose birthday is today, wished that a proposed merger with South New Brighton School would not go ahead.

Today, the Ministry of Education made her wish come true.

Instead, the ministry has put forward two new proposals. These are that the school either closes or merges with North New Brighton School and Freeville School.

Central New Brighton School principal Toni Burnside described the news as a ''mixed blessing''.

She said it was a positive outcome compared to the initial proposal.

She supported the idea of merging with North New Brighton School and Freeville School, with all three schools based at the North New Brighton site, which was closer than South New Brighton School.

''I feel we have been listened to. That's the most important thing. The concerns of the community have been heard.

"I believe we can make this a really positive experience for our children.''

Burnside planned to tell parents and pupils in a special assembly at 2.45pm today.

Rouse was the first pupil to be told the news.

She thought a merger with North New Brighton and Freeville would be ''cool''.

Burnside believed patents and pupils would welcome the new proposal, which will have to go out for community consultation.

Feedback will close on July 10.

Burnside believed a final decision would be made by Hekia Parata by the end of August.


Address: 150 Seaview Rd, New Brighton, Christchurch

Website: centralnewbrightonschool.com

School type: Full primary (Year 1 to 8), decile 2

School roll: 104

Staff: 5 teachers, 8 support staff

Building damage: Contradictory, rationale says ''only minor structural damage has been sustained'' but states that all 13 school buildings are earthquake-damaged and four require quake strengthening

Cost: $4.4 million

Land status: No liquefaction or lateral spreading was reported and surrounding land is predominantly TC2.

Rationale for change: Pupil numbers fell by a third at Central New Brighton. The rationale said it was ''not cost-effective'' to repair the damaged buildings in the New Brighton cluster, so would merge four schools into two.

Read the ministry's rationale for change.

The Press