21 Sep 2012

Principals 'confused' after meeting with ministry

10:41 pm on 21 September 2012

The Ministry of Education says details given to Christchurch primary school principals about possible closure and mergers in the city are only proposals.

Up to 100 principals and Boards of Trustee members met ministry officials on Thursday night to hear further details about how the Government's proposed $1 billion overhaul of the earthquake-hit region's education system could affect them.

The shake-up announced on 13 September could include the closure of 13 schools and the merging of 18.

Some of the school leaders described the information as confusing and providing very little clarity.

The ministry's earthquake recover manager told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Friday she understands that there is some anxiety.

Coral Anne Child says principals will have the chance to take part in consultation.

"The proposals are made in good faith - and can I just be clear that no decisions have been made. Once the board has consulted with their community, then they will report to the ministry and that will be part of the recommendations to the minister."

Aranui School it is set to close and merge with a number of others in the area to create a super-school of sorts.

The board of trustees' chairman, Tim Baker, says there is no excuse for the ministry to have got its communication so wrong.

Mr Baker says by his estimations the proposed school will cover 15 hectares - and he is not sure where that much land can be found.