Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Hawera school consultation on drawing board

Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced a formal consultation for the future of schooling in Hawera.

“Recent engagement shows there is a lot of support for change,” said Minister Hipkins.

“The preferred options are for primary schools to be extended to year 7 and 8, or for a year 7-13 high school to replace the current intermediate and high school,” he said.

“We’re going back out to consult formally with schools about what would work best for learners, their whanau and the wider community.”

Mr Hipkins said the recent engagement process had shown that many people had taken the time to consider how schooling could be reconfigured.

“Our initial engagement, some years back after fire destroyed much of the local Intermediate, was not conclusive. But this time around the two preferred options show the community is keen to change how education is delivered,” he said.

“Formal consultation will enable schools to have a further say on their preference, before a final decision later this year.”

Proposal (A) would involve six local primary schools becoming year 1-8 full primary schools, and the Intermediate school closing. Proposal (B) would either merge the Intermediate and High School, or close both with the establishment of replacement year 7-13 schooling on the 5.5 hectare site of the current High School in Camberwell Road.

Currently infrastructure work is needed at both the Intermediate and High School.

“I have heard from the local community that they would like to get certainty as soon as possible. I will be asking the Ministry to complete this consultation process as soon as they can within the legislative constraints they face,” the Minister said.

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