Deadline looms for schools' responses

CHARLEY MANN
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012

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Christchurch schools have only three days left until they hit the deadline for the shake-up consultation period.

The Education Ministry announced proposals in September to close 13 schools and put 26 through mergers.

Affected schools were given a 10-week time frame, which ends on Friday, to consult their communities and report to the ministry.

Schools are in the final stages of writing, proofreading and editing their submissions, before they are sent in.

Manning Intermediate School, which is proposed to close, is busy working on its submission. Principal Richard Chambers said the timing of the deadline was "tight" and that schools should have had more time to discuss wider implications.

"Issues that should have been decided before changes to structures were proposed, for example, just looking at year 7 and 8 education and what are the key issues for this age group and how can we enhance their learning?"

Ouruhia Model School principal Mark Ashmore-Smith said he could "probably carry on tweaking [the submission] for another month. We are pretty confident we have done as well as we can. It's in the lap of the gods now."

Ouruhia is proposed to close.

The school presented Education Minister Hekia Parata with the gist of its submission during her visit last month.

Ashmore-Smith said it had just been a matter of putting those points into writing.

Avondale Primary, Aranui Primary, Aranui High, Chisnallwood Intermediate and Wainoni School, which are proposed to close and become a year 1 to year 13 campus, were given an extended deadline to consult until March 7 next year.

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