Phillipstown, Woolston schools to hear fate

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 16:13 08/04/2014
phillipstownstandard

TAKING A STAND: Phillipstown School principal Tony Simpson leads a protest against closure.

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The Phillipstown and Woolston communities will learn the fate of their schools tomorrow.

Consultation with the communities restarted in November, after High Court Judge, Justice John Fogarty, found that Education Minister Hekia Parata's decision-making process behind the merger of the two Christchurch schools was unlawful.

Phillipstown School principal Tony Simpson and a team of supporters have been fighting the school's closure since Parata indicated its possible merger with Woolston School in September 2012.

The decile 1 primary school of 163 pupils had lawyer Mai Chen, of prominent Auckland firm Chen Palmer, represent them through a judicial review. It found Parata failed to meet the requirements of the Education Act in two respects.

First, the importance of the cost of Phillipstown continuing on its current site was mistakenly played down.

Second, the financial information Parata relied on was not reasonably broken down and explained in a manner that would have enabled a critique.

Parata has announced she will be outlining the fate of the two schools at 11am tomorrow.

Simpson said he was nervous, and all he knew was that two ministry officials would be visiting the school tomorrow morning.

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