Salisbury prepares for more of Parata

Last updated 07:05 19/01/2013

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Nelson's Salisbury School is surprised and disappointed by Prime Minister John Key's decision to retain embattled Education Minister Hekia Parata.

Key is expected to oversee a Cabinet reshuffle and there has been recent speculation Parata would be forced to stand down after a series of controversies last year.

A High Court judgment in December found her decision to close Salisbury residential school and place the girls in Halswell School, Christchurch was unlawful and did not take into account the girls' safety. Halswell is currently a residential boys' school.

As a result, Salisbury School had called on the Government to appoint another minister out of concern that Parata would not have an open mind in any decision about the school's future.

Salisbury board chairwoman Helen McDonnell said at the time she did not believe the minister intended to retain Salisbury after 2014.

"Her views, and those of her ministry, are clearly pre-determined."

But speaking ahead of his trip to Antarctica yesterday, the prime minister said Parata's job was safe and that he had "complete confidence" in her.

McDonnell said Key's decision was surprising considering the way things had gone last year with her school and in other cases.

The decision meant nothing had really changed since December and the school knew what it was in for with the current minister.

The board would meet next week to work out a strategy for the year.

Fairfax NZ

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