READER REPORT:

Why Phillipstown School should not close

CAROL ANDERSON
Last updated 09:51 20/02/2013

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This school should not close/merge. Each school in Chch has its own unique character, and serves a great variety of communities within the Christchurch region.

Phillipstown is very unique, it has an extremely close-knit community who support and assist each other. The area is a relatively low socio-economic one, and as such the students and parents who support this school, have little to spare for any more than day to day living.

The school supports them in so many way, from assisting the children to go on camps, excursions, uniforms, making sure they get the very best education they can provide, (currently from what I have learned it is above the requirements of the MOE) For those children who come to school without breakfast there is breakfast provided via the community centre attached to the school. The children are also given fruit each day.

The children are encouraged and helped to learn by extremely efficient and caring teachers. To see these children crying and very upset at being told their much loved school is closing is gut-wrenching.

Coming at the beginning of the school year this will also be very disruptive to their learning as it will totally unsettle them and I believe that they will think, "oh well the schools closing so why should I bother doing this stuff".

The committment of the principal, Tony Simpson, and his dedicated staff deserve better than this brutal slash and burn approach of the National Government and the Minister of Education.

It seems to be an attack on the schools situated in the Labour-dominated eastern areas, and by closing them far earlier than initially indicated it will be a done and dusted situation before the general election next year. Therefore, no chance to get a new government to rethink the policy.

This school serves not only the children but also the wider community as a whole. To close it would be political suicide, and detrimental to the max to the children who go there.

Another interesting point that was made during discussion today, was that if you have fewer numbers in a school there is more funding available, but if you have higher roll number the funding is less.

Cannot fathom that argument at all. To me the only problem that creates is that children miss out on necessary assistance.


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