First schools reopen in Christchurch

10:42 pm on 7 March 2011

Five schools in Christchurch reopened on Monday and the Ministry of Education expects another 25 to reopen this week.

All schools were shut following February's quake.

The five which opened on Monday were all primary schools.

One was Governors Bay School, where 40 of the normal roll of 78 returned to class.

As of Friday, the Minister of Education says 5200 Christchurch children had enrolled at schools in other centres.

Fifty-five schools - some of them secondary schools - have been confirmed as structurally sound and can open for staff immediately, with starting dates for students expected soon.

Education Minister Anne Tolley says 34 schools cannot open yet, and the ministry is looking at what repairs are needed.

At least six schools have serious damage and will be sharing sites with other schools. They include Shirley Boys' High, which will share with Papanui High, and the Catholic Cathedral College, which will share with St Thomas's High School.

It was announced on Friday that Marian College will share with St Bede's College, and Avonside Girls' High will share with Burnside High School.

Mrs Tolley says those sharing facilities will run classes in shifts, the first from about 8am to 12.30pm, and the second from 1pm to 5pm.

For further information see the Ministry of Education website.