Given the scale of change and investment needed, it is not feasible to simply repair existing buildings. Instead we have an opportunity to provide new and improved facilities that will reshape education, improve the options and outcomes for learners, and support greater diversity and choice.
To maximise the opportunity and investment, our planning will focus on the whole network of provision, including integrated and private providers.
These Learning Community Clusters reflect logical, standard geographic boundaries that are used by Statistics New Zealand, the Ministry of Social Development, and other agencies (including the Ministry of Education) to inform long-term planning.
Working with clusters provides opportunities to engage parents and learners in the renewal proposals developed for some schools and the educational options that align with their needs, interests, values and aspiration.
The Learning Community Clusters are divided into three categories:
- Restore – where low level change, such as earthquake repairs and major works, can be progressed for a cluster of schools, or individual schools.
- Consolidate – where moderate-level change is needed to address the declining roll size in schools due to population shifts and decisions on the integrity of buildings and land.
- Rejuvenate – where major change and the greatest opportunity for significant innovation exist.
Clustering services in this way will help government understand and monitor the bigger picture for that particular educational community, including the welfare and housing situation.
On top of this it enables parents and communities to play a significant role in identifying the type of education provision that will best meet their needs as part of an education community.
It will also enable parents and the community to play a significant role in identifying the type of education provision that will meet their needs as part of an education community.
In this way priority can be given to establishing the best educational resources, opportunities, facilities, outcomes, and value for money.
While prioritising what is best for the whole community, there is a clear recognition that schools and other services provide a key identifier and focal point for communities. It is vital they continue to provide a central place of connection for individuals and families.
There will be ongoing engagement with the sector and community throughout the renewal journey.