7 Dec 2012

Schools suggest alternatives to Govt closure plan

10:25 pm on 7 December 2012

Christchurch schools have delivered their plans to the Government in a bid to save some of the 39 schools selected to close or merge following the region's earthquakes.

Friday was the deadline for schools to respond to most of the Government's proposals and their suggestions range from sharing boards of trustees to out-and-out expansion.

Although some schools support the Government's plans, many are expected to fight them. But rather than arguing for no change at all, they are putting forward their own alternatives.

Manning Intermediate principal Richard Chambers says his school has proposed an alternative option to closure and wants to join forces with Hillmorton High School.

"We're looking at putting a proposal around a closer link with the high school. That could be either a shared governance model with one board controlling two schools and putting the power back in the hands of the community about deciding how things would work, or it could go down a full merger path."

Mr Chambers says Christchurch deserves the best - and that is not provided by the Government's current plans for the city's schools.

Another intermediate says instead of closing, it should expand to take in Year 9 students.

The Ministry of Education will consider the schools' submissions and the minister, Hekia Parata, says she intends to start announcing her decisions in mid-February.