Shock at merger for Lyttelton schools

Lyttelton Main: The school was due for a total rebuild prior to the quakes.
Lyttelton Main: The school was due for a total rebuild prior to the quakes.

Two Lyttelton schools facing a merger two years earlier than planned say the rug has been pulled from under their feet.

Lyttelton Main School and Lyttelton West School have been told that they will need to combine into one school by the start of 2014, rather than 2016 as was initially planned.

Lyttelton Main principal Sue Walls said staff were shocked to hear of the change in date.

Lyttelton West School
Lyttelton West School

''The rug's been pulled out from under our feet.''

Walls said the new date meant the combined school would have to operate across three different sites for the next two years,

''We are planning on doing lots of things to bring people together, but we can't do that as effectively over three sites.''

The school would be ''very strongly challenging'' the new date for the merger, she said.

Lyttelton West principal Diana Feary said the school had been resigned to the merger but did not think it would take place so soon.

''If we're being honest, we did thing the merger would go ahead, but we thought it would be under the terms we were consulted on last year.''

Feary said the school was holding a community meeting tomorrow morning to discuss the new date for the merger before speaking to the board of trustees about the next step.

The Press