24 Sep 2012

Call to re-think special schools closure

5:42 pm on 24 September 2012

An educationalist says the proposed alternative for special needs children if two schools are closed has proved ineffective elsewhere.

The Ministry of Education is proposing to close McKenzie Residential School in Christchurch and Salisbury School in Nelson.

Submissions have closed on the ministry's plan to replace the two residential special schools with increased support in the community and local schools.

Garry Hornby, education professor at Canterbury University, says international research shows wraparound services make little difference, with high drop-rates and minor outcomes.

He says before any closures occur, a new service has to be deemed better.

The Education Ministry says it will now look at all the submissions, but is unsure when a decision will be made public.