23 May 2013

Protest over Christchurch school merger

9:33 pm on 23 May 2013

About 100 people have turned out at a protest march in Christchurch over an interim decision to merge Phillipstown School with Woolston School.

The schools are among 21 that will learn their fate next week when the Ministry of Education makes final decisions on whether they should merge or close.

Wearing T-shirts with the words 'We Are Phillipstown', the protesters on Thursday made their way down one of the city's busiest roads to a major intersection known as an accident black spot.

Phillipstown principal Tony Simpson says this is the route his students will have to walk if the school merges with Woolston and is yet another reason why the merger should not go ahead.

Four generations of Jimmy Le Comte's family have attended the school, including his children and grandchildren.

Mr Le Comte says he can't understand why the move is being considered and doesn't want the children put at risk by having to walk along a busy road.

Tony Simpson remains positive that Education Minister Hekia Parata will reverse the decision, but says the school will continue to fight for its survival if she doesn't and may seek a judicial review.