31 Mar 2016

Redcliffs School's final plea to stay open

8:50 pm on 31 March 2016

A Christchurch school that is fighting to stay open has made its final arguments to the Minister of Education.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says the unstable cliff behind the Redcliffs School makes the site unsuitable for a school.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says the unstable cliff behind the Redcliffs School makes the site unsuitable for a school. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

Redcliffs School was closed following the Canterbury earthquakes, and students and classes were shifted to a temporary site.

In November, Minister of Education Hekia Parata announced an interim decision to permanently close the school because students' education risked being disrupted by the unstable cliff-face behind the school in an earthquake.

The school's board of trustees had until today to provide reasons in favour of it remaining open.

Board chairman Mark Robberds said a geotechnical report commissioned by the school addressed the minister's concerns about potential disruption in the event of an earthquake.

The school's principal, Rose McInerney, told Checkpoint their submission would be enough to convince Ms Parata.

"We've now shown that the work has been done to show how very minimal that disruption would be."

Ms Parata said the process had been one of good faith.

"At every phase, we have extended the length of time that's required under the legislation. We've listened to the board as to what they would like done and, where it has been possible we have deferred to their preferences.

"We've shared the technical resource, we've made available every analysis that's been done by the ministry for me."

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