Tokoroa's high school: It's not closing

PETRICE TARRANT
Last updated 15:43 22/01/2014

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Rumours that Tokoroa's Forest View High School is closing have been quashed by its principal.

Ian Ferguson said the gossip had put fear and uncertainty in the minds of staff, students and parents.

"I just want to put the rumours to rest, and if people think the school is closing I'd like to discuss it with them. It's not right."

He suspects that there are only a few people behind the tale but the potential damage is huge.

"We have had parents of our own and members of the community asking if the school is closing. We have put articles in our newsletters and sent letters out to parents and it hasn't stopped."

Following a district-wide trend, the school's role has been declining since its peak of 650 in 2004.

However Mr Ferguson said it seemed to be stabilising.

Last year the school was forced to cut four permanent staff and one part-time member but that still left 32 teachers, he said.

"People would say there's no smoke without fire but I can assure people the school is open for business and ready to do a great job."

The Ministry of Education's head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey agreed.

"The rumours have no basis," she said.

"We have not been involved in any discussions about closure of this school."

The school, which hosts about 400 students, has just completed a $1 million refurbishment of science labs, technology workshops and a gym.

Mr Ferguson said it was in the process of installing a $70,000 heating system which would be followed by another $400,000 refurbishment of classrooms to be completed by the end of 2015.

A new uniform had also been designed and would be introduced, starting this year.

"We have a wide range of subjects and the ability to deliver great educational outcomes.

"That's what I want our school to be judged on, not rumours," Mr Ferguson said.

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- Waikato

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