Strain on Bluestone roll forces zoning

20:26, May 04 2014

Timaru's Bluestone School is proposing zoning as its roll comes under pressure.

A public meeting tomorrow night will outline the enrolment scheme and the draft zone boundary, as well as give parents and interested people the opportunity to ask questions.

Bluestone principal Ian Poulter said pupils already attending the school could continue regardless of living outside the zone.

To lessen the impact on school families, siblings who had not started would be a priority and if there were too many they would go in a ballot system, he said.

With places for about 70 new entrants each year, between 30 and 35 will be priority-one siblings of those already attending but living outside the zone.

"We hope to overcome [families'] concerns and we expect half [the children] to be outside the school zone so it should naturally resolve itself. Until the roll shrinks, then it could be a problem," Poulter said.


He said the zoning was to control the size of the school to make it fair for all pupils.

The zig-zag nature of the proposed boundary, particularly around Elizabeth and Cain streets, is to ensure families with a family tradition of children attending West and Main schools - before the merger to become Bluestone School in 2005 - had a choice.

The board felt it had a moral obligation to include those areas. It would also include all addresses on roads that formed the zone's boundary.

"We did not want to encroach on other schools' areas," Poulter said.

Other schools bordering the zone will be advised of the plans today and have five weeks to respond.

The Ministry of Education will take into consideration all feedback from all related meetings before making a final decision. Implementation of any changes is unlikely to occur until about August.

The Timaru Herald