Phillipstown School pleads for future

17:17, Nov 13 2012
Hekia parata
DON'T CLOSE US: Minister of Education Hekia Parata visits Phillipstown school today.

Phillipstown School and its community made desperate pleas to Education Minister Hekia Parata today to keep the school open.

''I don't know what to say to make you try to understand not to dismantle our community. Will you please support this school and this community?'' Alex Mann, who has been involved in the school as a Big Brother mentor for four years, told Parata.

Today is day two of a three-week consultation period where Parata will meet 35 schools slated to close or merge.

She met three schools today, and about 60 people attended the Phillipstown School meeting.

Phillipstown is slated to merge with Woolston School at a new purpose-built school on the Linwood College site.

It is proposed to demolish the college buildings and move Linwood College to its lower fields in Ferry Rd.

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Jim LeComte also asked Parata not to close the school.

His mother went to the school 90 years ago, as did he and his wife, one of their children and three grandchildren.

''I really hope my great-grandchildren will come here too. We've lost so much history in Christchurch. I don't see a need for Phillipstown to close,'' he said.

Parata said the changes were only proposals and the consultation was genuine.

The Press