FAQs for final decisions for Aranui and New Brighton schools – 11 September 2013
- Next steps
- Aranui decision
- New Brighton decision
- Wellbeing and transitions
- Enrollment schemes and enrolling students
- Finance and assets
- Special education
- Specialist programmes
- International students
- Previous school decisions
What decisions have been announced on 11 September?
On 11 September 2013, Minister of Education Hon Hekia Parata announced final decisions for five schools in Aranui and three schools in New Brighton as part of the Government’s education renewal plans for Christchurch.
A new community campus will be established on the current Aranui High School site with year 1-13 schooling, and will open at the start of term one 2017. This means Aranui High, Aranui School, Avondale School and Wainoni School will close on 27 January 2017. Chisnallwood Intermediate will remain open on its current site, subject to a review in 2020.
Further consultation on the community campus will begin after the announcement. The Aranui Community Leadership Group will be established to lead the consultation, with the Aranui community, with the support of the Ministry of Education and the education community.
The interim decisions announced in February 2013 for New Brighton schools were that Central New Brighton and South New Brighton school should merge, and Freeville School and North New Brighton School should merge on the North New Brighton site. On 29 May 2013 the Minister announced a final decision that Central New Brighton and South New Brighton schools would not merge. The Minister also initiated two new proposals for consideration for Central New Brighton School, Freeville School and North New Brighton School.
Those proposals were:
- a merger of Central New Brighton, Freeville and North New Brighton Schools to take place at the start of term two 2014 on the Freeville and North New Brighton sites, moving to the North New Brighton site in 2016; or
- a merger of Freeville and North New Brighton Schools on the Freeville and North New Brighton sites from term two 2014 and then on the North New Brighton site from 2016, and the closure of Central New Brighton School at the end of term one 2014.
After further consultation and submissions from affected schools, the final decision is that Central New Brighton, Freeville and North New Brighton Schools will merge at the start of term one 2015, initially on the Freeville and North New Brighton sites, and from 2016 on the North New Brighton site.
The current North New Brighton site will be significantly redeveloped to provide a modern learning environment, including new teaching spaces that reflect the latest thinking in school design.
What happens now for the affected schools?
The Ministry will be working closely with each of the Boards in the weeks following the announcement to discuss what will happen next, and what support is available to them and their school communities.
The Ministry will ensure that schools, students and their families are well informed and supported each step of the way.
My school has been advised that the Minister’s final decision is that the school will not be merged or closed. What does this mean?
The school will remain open and continue to operate as usual.
My school has been advised that the Minister’s final decision is for us to merge at the beginning of 2015. What happens now?
The Ministry will meet with your principal and Board Chair in the next few days and work through the timeline and process for implementing the Minister’s decision. It is likely that an appointed Board will be in place for the continuing school from the beginning of 2014. Each school will have a change manager and residual agent appointed from early in 2014. The decision to merge will be gazetted.
My school has been advised that the Minister’s final decision is that the school is to close in January 2017. What happens now?
The Ministry will work closely with the Boards of each of these schools in the next few days to go through the process and timeline for implementing the Minister’s decision. The schools will continue to operate as normal for some time yet. The Ministry will work with the Board and principal from each of these schools to ensure that there is a focus on the ongoing provision of quality teaching and learning programmes, and the schools, students, parents and communities are given the support they need to thrive.
What about other secondary schools in Christchurch – what is proposed for them?
Besides Aranui High School, the only other final decisions about secondary schooling that have been made is that Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti is to merge with Discovery One School and that Hillmorton High School, Hornby High School and Linwood College will become year 7-13 secondary schools.
Secondary schools have been working together to developing innovative proposals for the future of secondary schooling in the greater Christchurch area. The ideas and information from this work are being taken into account as the Ministry develops recommendations to put to the Minister for her consideration.
There will be full consultation on any proposals the Minister accepts before any decisions are made.
What is the role of the change manager?
The change manager ensures that the closure or merger of the school is well managed operationally. They work with the principal and Ministry to plan and implement the process. This includes:
- supporting the principal with their role
- working with the community, in particular parents of children at the school to ensure they have enough information and support to make decisions about where their children will go to school and what help they will need
- ensuring that all employment documentation is up to date and accurate
- ensuring that the school’s asset register is up to date
- ensuring that the school’s resources are distributed to other schools in the network (or the continuing school)
- school buildings are left clean, tidy and secure and the keys handed over to the Ministry following a closure or merger.
What is the role of the residual agent?
The residual agent oversees the school’s finances before the date of closure or merger and then settles the school’s accounts (paying final invoices etc.) following the date of closure or merger. They also prepare draft financial statements for audit and present them to the Office of the Auditor General. The Board pays for the services of its residual agent.
What do you mean by community campus?
This campus has the prospect of raising student achievement in Aranui, allowing different ways of learning, not just for students, but for the learning and wellbeing of the entire community.
The establishment of a new Aranui community campus will mean that a range of services – community, health, sporting and educational – will be located on the school site. Special education, early childhood and tertiary education provision, as well as social, health, and sporting organisations could operate from the campus, providing an innovative learning hub.
The new campus will enhance the choice of learning and activities that young people have, and provide modern learning environments. It will assist families with more than one child by providing education on one site from early learning through to the transition to employment, training, or higher education, and offer services that will benefit the wider community.
It is expected that this approach would fundamentally change how education is delivered in this community.
The Ministry will work with the Christchurch City Council and other relevant parties to identify facilities for the campus, such as a swimming pool, library and specialist youth facilities.
What’s the Aranui Community Leadership Group?
The Aranui Community Leadership Group will guide the consultation and communication with the community until the Establishment Board of Trustees (EBoT) of the community campus is established in June 2014. The Group will continue to provide support and advice as the EBoT works to ensure the community’s vision is realised.
Nominations for the Aranui Community Leadership Group will be open from 12 September to 27 September. More information will be available on the roles and responsibilities of the group, and the application process, from 12 September on the Advertised appointments page.
How can you ensure the new community campus will meet our needs?
The Aranui Community Leadership Group will guide the consultation and communication with the community. There will be plenty of opportunities for people of Aranui to have their views heard. This consultation will give the whole community the chance to come up with innovative ideas for enhancing education and lifting student achievement in new and exciting ways.
The consultation is just the start of the process. The Aranui Community Leadership Group and the Establishment Board of Trustees will continue to work and communicate with the community to ensure the community’s views are truly reflected in how the campus operates.
Why this decision for the Aranui schools?
Since July 2010, the combined roll for the five Aranui schools has fallen by almost 500 students. In addition, all five schools have earthquake-related damage and require strengthening, as well as weather-tightness issues.
The provision of Year 1-13 education on one site was proposed to strengthen schooling in this area. The larger roll of the school(s) will consolidate resources, funding and staffing and provision for all ages would assist better transitions between schooling stages. The community campus will also provide an opportunity to share resources between schools or year groupings within one school and provide valuable resources and facilities for the surrounding community.
The Board of the new school with the assistance of the Aranui Community Leadership Group will be able to work with the community and groups to implement a new vision for education provision in Aranui. This will build on the work the Aranui Community Leadership Group will shortly undertake as well as the work already undertaken by the Aranui Community Trust Incorporated Society (ACTIS), and help to ensure that education provision in Aranui is targeted to the local community. The community campus will create an environment which best serves the young people living in the area.
Why is Chisnallwood Intermediate remaining open?
The Minister acknowledged feedback that Chisnallwood serves a wider catchment than just the Aranui area, with the majority of its students coming from outside of Aranui, and that it should be retained to provide a choice of intermediate provision for parents.
It is subject to a review in 2020 once the new Aranui community campus is operating and network changes across the city have settled in.
What is the process for establishing a new school or campus?
Once the final shape of the community campus has been decided after consultation, the decision is gazetted and the Ministry can move to implement the establishment process. In this case the campus will be built on the Aranui High Schools site so land is already available.
The first step after this process will be to seek nominations for the Establishment Board of Trustees (EBoT). This is likely to happen in early 2014. The EBoT is made up of five appointed people and it can co-opt up to four others. The EBoT is usually in place for about 3 – 6 months after the school becomes operational, and then elections are held for a Board of Trustees.
What is the role of Establishment Board of Trustees (EBoT)?
The job of the EBoT is to work with the community to develop a vision and philosophy for the school, develop its policies and other documentation, and appoint staff. It also provides input to the Ministry on the design of the school and its buildings. In this situation work on the vision will be started by the Aranui Community Leadership Group as part of the process consulting on the form the campus should take.
A governance facilitator is available to support and guide the EBoT in the process of establishing a new school.
Why are the Aranui closures and the establishment of a new school/s not happening until 2017?
It takes about two years to build a new primary school and three years to build a secondary school. This is irrespective of whether the new build is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) or not. See the property section for further information on PPPs.
Why this decision for the New Brighton schools?
In looking at the best way to renew the New Brighton schooling network, factors such as earthquake damage, school capacity, future population growth, location of schools and modern learning environments were considered. All of the New Brighton schools suffered some degree of earthquake damage and are situated in an eight kilometre stretch of land which is separated from the rest of Christchurch by an area of red zone, the Avon River and the estuary. This is likely to constrain future population growth and the schools already have extra capacity.
Most of the classrooms the New Brighton schools are currently using were built in the 1960s and 1970s, and several were built in the 1940s. The age of these buildings means they need significant earthquake strengthening and are not suitable for modern learning practices. By building a new primary school with modern learning facilities, students in the area will be able to access the latest information technology in spaces that are better designed to support their learning.
Merging the three schools provides the opportunity to bring together the most positive aspects of all three schools in what will be a new school with modern learning facilities.
Why is the merger not happening until 2015?
The initial proposal was for Central New Brighton, Freeville and North New Brighton Schools to merge from term two, 2014.
The Minister listened to the concerns that had been expressed in the submissions about merging part-way through the school year, and agreed that the merger should happen at the start of term one, 2015. Initially the newly merged school will operate on the Freeville and North New Brighton sites, and from 2016 on the North New Brighton site.
What will happen to the Board of Trustees at each of the three schools?
The Board of North New Brighton will be the continuing Board until an appointed Board is in place. This is likely to be from the beginning of 2014. The appointed Board will have representation from all schools as well as an independent chair.
The Boards of Central New Brighton and Freeville will continue to govern their own schools until the date of the merger.
What support will be available for students, parents, teachers and families?
The Ministry of Education will provide extensive support to Aranui schools that will close in 2017 and New Brighton schools that will merge in 2015.
Each school has been given a package that outlines the support that will be available and how to access that support. The Ministry will work with every school to ensure education is not compromised throughout the process and that staff and families are well informed each step of the way.
Your school should be your first point of contact if you or your child have any questions around the transition process.
Parents can find more information at:
Call: 0800 746 338
When the time does come to transition to different schools, the Ministry will work with schools to identify what support could be provided to students to ensure a smooth transition. That support could include:
- providing school visits for groups of children who may move to a particular school
- setting up buddy programmes so children have contact with other children at their next school before they make the change
- holding parent meetings with the staff of the next school
- appointing change managers to work with closing or merging schools.
Schools should be the first point of contact for parents or children with any questions around transitions.
What support will there be for the four closing Aranui schools?
Taking into account the longer lead time for schools in Aranui before the transition to the community campus, the Ministry will work closely with each of the four schools until they close in 2017 to ensure they have the support they need to continue to offer quality teaching and learning programmes. This support might include professional development for staff, sports and cultural activities with the community, additional support for students with behavioural issues or identified learning needs, and additional resourcing.
What support will there be for the New Brighton schools?
The Ministry will be seeking expressions of interest for an appointed Board of Trustees for the continuing school, to be announced before the end of 2013.
In addition, the community may choose to establish a community group to help maintain interest and momentum throughout both the merging process and the ongoing running of the merged New Brighton school.
An appropriate package will be put in place to support the schools through to their transition to the merged school in 2015 and move onto a single site in 2016.
What’s an appointed Board?
The Minister has agreed that continuing schools in a merger will be governed by an appointed Board of Trustees.
Expressions of interest for the appointed Board will be sought from existing trustees from both/all merging schools in mid-June. If there is not enough interest, expressions of interest will be sought more widely. The appointed Board will have representation from all schools involved in the merger. The appointed Board will have an independent chair to ensure that the views of both/all communities involved in the merger are fairly represented in the decisions for the newly merged school.
A governance facilitator is also appointed to support and guide the appointed Board.
The appointed Board continues to govern the continuing school whilst making plans for the newly merged school, including appointing the principal and staff. Sometimes the appointed Board will establish a subcommittee to help with governing the continuing school.
What’s an Establishment Board of Trustees?
An Establishment Board of Trustees (EBoT) is appointed once the decision has been made to establish a new school. The EBoT is made up of five appointed people and it can co-opt up to four others. The job of the board is to work with the community to develop a vision and philosophy for the school, develop its policies and other documentation, and appoint staff. It also provides input to the Ministry into the design of the build.
The EBoT is usually in place for about 3-6 months after the school becomes operational, which is when the parent community is usually ready to move to an elected board to govern its school.
A governance facilitator is also appointed to support and guide the EBoT in the process of establishing a new school.
What’s the difference between an Appointed Board of Trustees and an Establishment Board of Trustees?
An Appointed Board is put in place to govern the continuing school and the newly merged school until an Elected Board of Trustees is in place which must be within three months of the date of merger.
Appointed Boards can have any number of members, although they usually have between 5-8 members as this is a good size for a working group.
An Establishment Board of Trustees is put in place to establish and govern a new school. Establishment Boards must have five members.
When will the Boards of newly merged schools have to submit their charter?
Each Board, with the support of the governance facilitator, will have responsibility for setting a realistic timeline for developing and submitting its ‘initial charter’ for the newly merged school to the Ministry. The ‘initial charter’ will provide guidance to the newly merged school in its first year of operation and would include an annual section outlining objectives and targets for student achievement in 2014 (for those opening in 2014) and for student achievement in 2015 (for those opening in 2015).
What help will the Appointed Board of Trustees of a merged school or the Establishment Board of Trustees of a new school get with governance?
The Ministry will assist the appointed/establishment Board, as will the NZSTA. The Ministry also pays for a Governance Facilitator to be available to help the Board as it sets out to establish the newly merged or new school.
Why do schools have enrolment schemes?
Enrolment schemes (home zones) are established to ensure that all students have the right of access to a ‘reasonably convenient school’ in relation to where they live.
Special temporary enrolment schemes will be put in place for some schools following the announcement of the final decisions to ensure students in affected schools and their families have certainty about where students can enrol.
Copies of the special temporary enrolment schemes can be found on the relevant learning community cluster pages through ‘Find my school‘.
Special temporary enrolment schemes are likely to be reviewed in 2014. The Ministry will work with the Boards of schools where enrolment schemes are required to change so that these are implemented in a timely way.
What is a special temporary enrolment scheme?
A special temporary enrolment is an enrolment scheme implemented by the Ministry of Education under the Canterbury Earthquake (Education Act) Order 2011.
How long will the Special Temporary Enrolment scheme be in place?
Special temporary enrolment schemes will be replaced by a normal enrolment scheme during 2014 or 2015. These normal enrolment schemes will be developed by the board of trustees which will consult with neighbouring schools and community.
What if the normal enrolment scheme that replaces the special temporary enrolment scheme in 2014 is different? Will my child have to change schools again if they are no longer in zone?
No – once your child(ren) are enrolled at the school you can remain at the school until you choose to enrol your child(ren) elsewhere.
How do I find out which school I can enrol my child at?
You can find schools close to where you live by searching on the TKI website at: www.nzschools.tki.org.nz. If you would prefer, you can phone the Ministry of Education contact centre on 0800 746 338 where someone will be able to help you with your query.
NOTE: You can enrol your child at any state school that does not have an enrolment scheme. Copies of the special temporary enrolment schemes can be found on the relevant learning community cluster pages through ‘Find my school‘.
The local school I would have enrolled my child at is merging – how do know which school I should enrol my child at?
You don’t need to do anything – students from merging schools are transferred to the roll of the continuing school when the merge becomes effective.
My local schools are merging and my child starts school next year. How do I find out about which school I can enrol my child at?
The special temporary enrolment schemes take effect from the date of the Minister’s announcements. This gives you options about where you can enrol your child. If you live in an area previously covered by a merging school, you have alternative options available.
Is there an enrolment scheme for Aranui or New Brighton schools?
Temporary enrolment schemes have only been put in place for schools that have existing enrolment schemes, and where the school is a merging school, or neighbours a closing school.
Children can still be enrolled at any state school that does not have an enrolment scheme.
I have a child enrolled at a merging school and another child yet to start school. We currently live out of zone, will my second child be able to enrol at the newly merged school?
The special temporary enrolment schemes take effect from the date of the Minister’s announcements. These special temporary enrolment schemes have a provision that ensures siblings (not yet at school) are able to enrol at the newly merged school from the age of five.
Do I have to enrol my child at the nearest school?
No. Parents are free to enrol their child at any school where they meet the eligibility requirements of the enrolment zone, special character and/or maximum roll.
What if the children all enrol at different schools?
Parents are free to enrol their child at any school where they meet the eligibility requirements of the enrolment zone, special character and/or maximum roll. Parents can enrol their child in any school that does not have an enrolment scheme in place.
When can permanent staff be appointed at merging schools?
The Appointed Board of Trustees will be appointing permanent staff for the newly merged school. There are clear processes the Appointed Board of Trustees must follow. The process is in the relevant Collective Employment Agreements and individual employment agreements. NZSTA will support the Boards involved with this process.
No other permanent appointments can be made at schools that are merging.
Can permanent staff be appointed at closing schools?
Generally, no permanent staff can be appointed at closing schools. However, in some situations to ensure ongoing provision of quality education programmes, the Ministry will give permission for Boards of Trustees to appoint permanent staff on a case-by-case basis.
When am I going to know if my position is safe?
There are clear processes for school mergers and closures and school staff have clear rights and obligations. These rights are detailed in the relevant Collective Employment Agreements.
Who can apply to the Christchurch Earthquake Teacher Training Support Fund?
To apply to this fund, you must:
- be a fully registered Teacher/Principal employed in a permanent or fixed term position (12 months or longer) in a greater Christchurch state or state integrated school
- have the support of your Board of Trustees and Principal (applicants from merging schools can apply but will require new Principal and Board of Trustees approval when appointments in the newly merged school have been made).
Further information on the Christchurch Earthquake Teacher Training Support Fund including application forms, have been sent to all greater Christchurch schools and are available on the TeachNZ website – http://www.teachnz.govt.nz
What’s the difference between the Principals’ and Teacher study awards, the Christchurch Earthquake Teacher Training Support Fund and retraining?
Study Awards are offered through TeachNZ and are open to all principals and teachers employed in a permanent or fixed term position (12 months or longer) in New Zealand. See http://www.teachnz.govt.nz/teacher-awards/directory/primary-principals-and-teachers-study-award/#Primary Teachers’ Study Leave Award for further information.
The Christchurch Earthquake Teacher Training Support Fund is available for teachers and Principals in a permanent or fixed term position (12 months or longer) in greater Christchurch schools only. There are 20 available and the study release time is four hours a week. This can be used flexibly throughout the school year to suit your study requirements as long as it is in agreement with your school. There is a contribution of up to $1600 towards course fees.
Information about the training support fund has been sent to all greater Christchurch schools and is available on the TeachNZ website. Teachers who opt for supernumerary redeployment can apply with the support of both employing Boards of Trustees.
Retraining to a course approved by the Ministry of Education is one of the surplus staffing options in the respective employment agreements that may be available to a teacher from a school that is closing or merging whose position has been disestablished. Union representatives can provide information about surplus staffing or retraining options.
What support is available to staff during this time?
Staff can get support from their Board of Trustees, and (if they are members) from their union (NZEI, PPTA, SFWU, AWU, PSA, SPANZ). The Ministry will be able to provide information about further support that may be available.
What happens when teachers from schools that are closing or merging, need to have their registration signed off in 2014 or later, but they are in a different school, or are not currently employed?
There are a number of ways that the situation can be dealt with depending on the specifics of the teacher.
- Some teachers will be employed as a teacher in another school (or centre) when their practising certificate is due to expire and the endorser will then be the teacher’s current professional leader.
- The Council can process applications for practising certificates up to six months before the practising certificate expiry date.
Teachers who want further information should contact the Teachers’ Council on:
Phone: 04 471 0852
What’s the process when building a new school? How involved will the community be in the process?
The building process begins with a visioning process which is developed by the board of trustees, the community and where possible, staff and students. It is expected the vision will include a vision for how the teaching and learning will be provided in the school and therefore how the school buildings will be designed and configured to meet this vision.
Once the design is complete, and contractors in place, the actual building begins. This process will take up to two years for a primary school and up to three years for a secondary school. The design and construction includes all the outdoor areas and landscaping so that when the school opens, the playground, sports fields, gardens are as near to complete as possible.
How does a public private partnership (PPP) for school property work?
A private partner is responsible for designing, building, financing and maintaining the school property for the term of the contract (25 years from the opening of the secondary school). The design team will work closely with the school to ensure the building meets the schools vision for teaching and learning. The contract requires a high standard of facilities maintenance from the private partner. Where the Private Partner fails to meet those standards, they suffer financial deductions. This effectively provides a 25-year guarantee on the buildings, unlike schools procured under traditional models.
The provision of education remains the responsibility of the Board of Trustees and the Principal. Boards will decide whether community groups are able to use the facilities and what they will charge for this.
The Government retains ownership of the land and buildings throughout the life of the contract.
What are some of the benefits of a PPP for school property?
Having a professional facilities manager responsible for school property reduces the amount of time senior school staff spend on property, freeing up this time to be spent on teaching and learning.
PPP schools (for example Hobsonville Point Primary School) are designed and built to meet the Ministry’s weather-tightness requirements, but if any defects arise over the life of the contract, the private sector partner is responsible for correcting them as quickly as possible.
For some projects, a PPP offers the best opportunity to deliver value for money. This is because the private sector partner engaged to deliver the asset is also responsible for its long-term performance, so they make design, construction and maintenance decisions with the longer term in mind.
What’s happening with the building programme?
The Ministry is currently developing the programme of works for each school. This will provide more certainty for schools on the timing of their capital investment. We expect to publish the programme in the next two months.
What happens to the land and buildings after a school is closed or merged with another school on another site?
When a school is closed or merged with another school on another site, the Ministry determines whether it needs the land for another education purpose, or whether the site should be disposed of. In many cases, surplus school sites are leased to community groups or other parties for education purposes or fostering of community and social services.
The upkeep of buildings that are not used by third parties is managed by the Ministry until property is disposed of.
What happens to the property while it is in the disposal process?
The agency who owns the land continues to be responsible for it until it is disposed of. During this period, the Ministry may allow the property and any buildings to be used by community groups for education purposes.
If the Ministry of Education allows its surplus sites to be used by community groups while the site is in disposal, why are there run down school sites around attracting vandalism?
Buildings that are not used by third parties are the responsibility of the Ministry. An independent organisation is employed to manage the upkeep of the property until it is disposed of. The Ministry will work with LINZ to actively manage the disposal process of school sites to ensure, where practicable, they do not remain empty for long periods of time.
The Ministry ensures the buildings are secured, maintained in a useable state and any vandalism is fixed promptly. Run down school sites only arise when the Ministry has disposed of the land to another party and that party allows it to deteriorate.
Why doesn’t the Ministry keep hold of its land “just in case”?
There are costs associated with holding land which make it too expensive to hold land for the sake of it.
What happens when land owned by government departments is disposed of?
The disposal process is set out in the Public Works Act 1981. There are five sequential steps in this process:
- The site can be transferred to another government department or territorial local authority if they require it for another public work.
- Offer the property back to the previous owner (or their beneficial successors).
- If the property forms part of a deed of settlement, the iwi concerned has first right of refusal. If they don’t exercise that right the property is placed on the open market.
- If the property is not subject to a deed of settlement the property is assessed for any other related Treaty of Waitangi claims under the Maori Protection Mechanism or the Sites of Significance process (SoS). If any claim is successful, then usually the property will be ‘landbanked’ and purchased by the Office of Treaty Settlements for Treaty claims.
- If the property is not land banked it is placed on the open market.
Does the Ministry get any money for selling its land?
Yes. Regardless of who the land is transferred to, it is transferred at current market value, meaning that the value of the land is established by valuation, and it transfers at that price. The Ministry uses the proceeds from the sale of its surplus sites to offset the cost of the work programme that has been agreed with the Government.
How long does that process take?
The Public Works Act disposal process can take a number of years to complete. This is because some land has been in Crown ownership for many years and it can be difficult to trace descendants of former owners’ who the Crown must offer the land back to, as stated in the Public Works Act 1982.
If the disposal process takes so long and is so complex why have such a process and why not just sell the land to the highest bidder?
For many people land has a special significance. Under the Public Works Act 1982 the Crown has powers to force people to sell their land to it regardless of how important it is to them. While this doesn’t happen very often, if land was taken compulsorily, it is only right to offer it back to the former owner or their descendants if it is no longer required for public work.
What is EDI funding?
When schools close or merge, additional resourcing called Education Development Initiative (EDI), paid from the savings created by the reorganisation, is available for projects that strengthen students’ achievement.
In both closure and mergers, the school where the student next enrols is eligible to access EDI funding. The receiving school must sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry about accepting the funding and then submit a plan to their local Ministry for how the EDI funding will be used to enhance student achievement. The receiving school has 6 years in which to use this funding.
A decision has been made to retain EDI funding to the greater Christchurch schools with students enrolled in announced closures or mergers. This means that if students leave greater Christchurch to go to school elsewhere, their new school does not receive EDI funding.
We’re a closing or merging school and we’ve been told we can use EDI funding once the final decision was gazetted to help our students and families with the changes. So are there rules about how much we can spend and on what, or is it up to us?
We expect all schools involved in the school reorganisation process will make professional, responsible and wise decisions about the use of funding, whether it is locally raised funding or Crown funding – operational or EDI.
EDI funding is to support the transition and to strengthen education in the newly merged or receiving schools. Most of the funding will be used by the newly merged or receiving schools.
EDI funding can also be used to help students with the transition between their current school and their next school. Examples of what a closing or merging school may use EDI funding on include:
- providing transport to, and light refreshments for, a shared event with the schools where their students are going to enrol next year
- purchasing additional support to help develop transition plans, including ensuring assessment data about student learning and achievement is up to date and complete prior to closure/merger
- providing additional teacher aide time/relievers to take students to the various receiving schools for several afternoons in term four for buddy programmes
- providing relievers so that teachers can be released in term four to spend some time with teachers in receiving schools or senior management in the newly merged school to develop and discuss transition plans for student learning and wellbeing.
The Board of Trustees of a closing or merging school may want to signal how they would like EDI funding generated by its schools to be spent. This will be recorded in the EDI Memorandum of Agreement and within reason, the change manager/s and the Ministry will endeavour to make sure that this occurs.
If the Board of a closing/merging school would like to access its EDI funding for a transition project, they should talk with their specialist adviser about the approval required and the steps to be taken.
Before a school can access EDI funding a memorandum of agreement about its use must be signed with the Ministry.
Our school is closing – what happens to all our furniture, equipment and resources? Can we sell it or give it away?
When a school is closing it is usual for the physical assets to be distributed among schools in the local area, particularly the schools that most of the students are expected to attend. The Board is the caretaker of the crown assets during the closure process boards and staff of closing or merging schools should not get involved in allocating furniture, equipment or resources. This is the job of the change manager and residual agent.
Once the change manager has been appointed, they will ensure the asset register is up to date. They will then discuss where those assets should go with the Board and staff of the closing school, and the Boards of likely receiving schools. It is unlikely that any transfers will take place until just prior to merger or closure as most assets – furniture and resources – will be required to maintain delivery of quality teaching and learning programmes until the school closes.
What happens to our assets?
When a school closes its assets and debts are transferred to the Crown. If a school is closing, it is usual for the physical assets to be distributed among the schools in the local area. If a school is merging, the physical assets of the school go to the continuing school. Note that assets must remain within the state education system as they are Crown assets – they cannot be ‘given’ to individuals.
Any funds the PTA has are considered part of the Board’s assets.
The change manager will help the Boards of closing and merging schools to work through all this process.
What will happen to the artefacts that are so special to our school community?
Some schools have artefacts, such as memorial gates, cups or awards that have special significance to the school and its community. The Ministry and change manager will work with schools to identify these artefacts, discuss what options there are and what the school/community preference is, working to ensure where possible that happens.
What happens to banked staffing in a merger or closure?
In a merger, banked staffing from the merging schools will be credited or debited as appropriate to the continuing schools banked staffing. In a closure, banked staffing whether in credit or debit, will be returned to the Crown. Specialist senior advisors are available to assist schools with working through this process.
What about our Trust?
A Board that has received and holds in a Trust any property (gifts for funding scholarships, or for other education purposes) may apply to the Public Trustee to devise a scheme to modify the Trust in light of the closure or merger. The change manager will help Boards work through this.
What roll will the newly merged school be staffed on?
The provisional staffing roll for the first year of operation for the newly merged schools will be based on the rolls of the merging schools less any information change managers have about numbers of students intending to enrol in schools other than the newly merged schools.
Will there still be special schools?
The provision of special education is high priority and the Minister intends to consult about the possibility of co-locating a special education service on the Aranui campus.
The Ministry will ensure that all children with special education needs are provided with appropriate support.
There is no plan for special schools to close but there will be a review of special schooling provision at some stage in greater Christchurch. The Ministry acknowledges that in the Special Education Review in 2010 parents indicated they wanted the whole continuum of provision retained. This included special school provision.
My child receives an Outreach Service from a special school. Will this continue?
Yes it will continue. No change to delivery of this service is anticipated.
My child has been receiving lots of support from teacher aides. How do I know that support will still be there if I have to change schools?
In many cases teacher aide support is provided as part of the special education programme for students who are eligible for specialist support programmes, including those students accessing Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding. The support programme would be retained according to your child’s needs regardless of the school they attend.
Teacher aides are also funded by individual schools to provide support for a wider group of students. If that is the case for your child, you should talk with the Principals of the present and future schools about whether that support is likely to continue for your child after the change.
Will my child have access to the same specialist services, such as Resource Teacher Learning Behaviour (RTLB), if they have to change schools?
RTLB support will continue to be available for a child who moves to a new school.
How is students’ access to technology education being factored into this renewal programme?
In the short to medium term, plans have been developed to ensure continued provision of technology for schools that access technology from a school that will close or merge.
Five schools currently providing technology provisions for year 7 and 8 students are affected by final decisions: Phillipstown School, Branston Intermediate, Linwood Intermediate, Manning Intermediate and Aranui High School. These schools offer technology provisions for their own students as well as students from other schools.
It is proposed that provision will be maintained on the Phillipstown site and be managed by the Board and Principal of the newly merged School, and the Branston Intermediate provision be maintained on the Branston site but managed by the Board and Principal of Hornby High School.
Technology provision currently offered at Linwood Intermediate School and Manning Intermediate School will be offered at Linwood College and Hillmorton High School, respectively, from the first term 2014.
Temporary classrooms will be provided where necessary to ensure appropriate classroom space is available.
Aranui High school is also a provider of technology for students from other schools. Provision of technology from Aranui High School will continue as normal in the short to medium term.
In the longer term, learning community clusters have been developed across greater Christchurch. These clusters consist of schools and early childhood providers in a geographical area. Clusters schools and ECE providers have been asked to work together, and with other education providers in their learning community cluster to develop provision that best meets the needs of the learners in the cluster. This may mean that the location of technology provision changes in the future.
I enrolled my child at Freeville School because of the bilingual unit. Will bilingual education be offered at the newly merged school?
The Ministry considers that the bilingual unit could be included, grown and enhanced in the merged school. The appointed Board would have representatives from Freeville School that are likely to be able to assist with the transition and growth of the bilingual unit in the merged school.
How is students’ access to te reo Māori programmes being factored into this renewal programme?
The Ministry is already working on a longer-term strategy for Māori medium education across greater Christchurch.
The Ministry has developed plans to ensure that children in schools which offer provision of Māori medium education are able to continue enjoying this opportunity after changes.
The Waitaha Advisory Board-Mātauraka Mahaanui, the Māori medium cluster and Māori medium providers are considering how to expand the quality and quantity of Māori medium education and student’s access to te reo Māori programmes across greater Christchurch and will be developing a greater Christchurch te reo Māori strategy.
What about Pasifika language programmes?
Where schools that currently offer Pasifika language programmes are affected by the final decisions the Ministry will work with the Pasifika Advisory Board, Boards of newly merged schools, other receiving schools, and learning community clusters in order to ensure current provision can be maintained and hopefully grown.
I enrolled my child at this school because it has such a good music programme. How do I find another school that offers a similar programme?
Talk with the principal at your child’s school. They may be able to identify other schools with good music programmes where you could enrol your child (depending on eligibility). You could also ask other parents, inquire of other schools, check individual school’s websites, or look through various schools’ ERO reports which may refer to a school’s curriculum strengths (www.ero.govt.nz).
What will happen to international students that are enrolled in one of the schools that are due to close or merge?
The Ministry will work with schools that have international students currently enrolled to ensure students and parents are made aware of the decision and the implications for students, the available options and what decisions they need to make.
What do Boards need to do to maintain or extend their signatory to the Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students status?
Appointed Boards and Elected Boards will need to work with the Code office to ensure they have the appropriate documentation approvals in place prior to enrolling international students. The role of Code Administrator was transferred from the Ministry of Education to NZQA on 1 August 2013.
The contact details are:
NZQA Helpline: 0800 697296
If my ECE service is on a school site that will close or merge, when will we know what will happen to our service?
Early childhood education is already provided on the Aranui High site at E Tipu E Rea, as well as at Wainoni School through Kidsfirst Kindergartens Ngaire Larcombe. The opening of the community campus in 2017 will not impact on these centres’ ability to continue to operate. Further to this, all ECE providers will have the chance engage with future opportunities for ECE on the community campus through the consultation process.
North Beach Community Childcare Centre is currently located on the North New Brighton School site and will remain on the site. It may remain in its current position or be moved to an alternative part of the merged school site. If the reconfiguration of the merged schools means the Centre will need to relocate, the Ministry will cover the cost of relocation.
My children have to go to another school, how will they get to their new school?
School transport provision will be provided for children that meet the eligibility requirements. These requirements will be discussed as part of the merger or closure process so that all parents are clear about what they are eligible to receive and any changes to the current school bus routes as a result of the closure of the school.
If students are not eligible for school transport assistance, then parents need to ensure that they get safely to their new school. Further information about school transport is available at the Ministry website.
My school provides a very successful breakfast club programme run by caregiver volunteers. When the school closes, how do I know there will be something similar in my child’s new school?
You should talk with the Principal at your child’s new school – they may already have a programme or be planning to introduce one. You could also talk with the parent volunteers in the closing school about the possibility of developing a similar programme in the child’s new school.
What about the Kiwi Can programme which has been a big success in my child’s school. Will it exist in a new school?
You could talk with the Principals at your child’s current and future school about their plans to make this programme available.
What will happen to the school’s sports team if the school has to close?
Talk to the principal of your child’s new school about sports and how newly enrolled children can participate.
My child has had access to after school activities and/or after school care? What will happen to this programme if this school closes?
You should talk to the principal or Board members of your child’s new school – if there is demand, the Board may be interested in establishing an out of school programme. Alternatively there may be community run programmes operating in your area – check with other parents.
We bought new school uniforms for our children last year and now their school is closing. We can’t afford to replace them.
If you need to enrol your child in a different school, you should talk with the Principal and see what may be available to help families in your situation.
Can schools use EDI funding to buy or subsidise the cost of buying uniforms?
EDI funding can be used to subsidise the design and/or purchase of uniforms if receiving schools or the newly merged schools consider that is the best way to use the funding to support students and their families with the transition.
It is the role of the board of the next school that the students enrol in that oversees their uniform requirements.
Can closing or merging schools subsidise uniforms at all?
If the school has funding in trust accounts, fund raising accounts, or parent body accounts, they can use it to help families purchase uniforms for the schools their students are going to attend next. The school should talk with their change manager or specialist senior advisor to work out how to make this happen.
What if my school can’t help pay for uniforms and I can’t afford to buy a new one?
You should talk with your schools to find out about the various ways families can be supported, including one or more of:
- applying for community funding to subsidise uniforms
- allowing students to continue to wear the uniform of their old school until the child out grows it and/or families can afford to replace it
- allowing students to purchase and wear part of the receiving or new school’s uniform (eg jersey, skirt) until families can afford to purchase the rest
- doing a drive for second hand uniforms from past and current students and families
- phasing in the uniform in the newly merged school so students don’t need to wear the new uniform for a specific period – for example, in their last two years at school.
What are the other decisions that have been made as part of education renewal in Christchurch?
In September 2012, Minister of Education Hon Hekia Parata announced proposals affecting 38 schools of the 215 in greater Christchurch. The final decisions announced for Aranui and New Brighton schools represent a significant milestone as this means, after extensive consultation, all 38 schools have now received final decisions, including two that closed voluntarily.
- 14 schools received decisions to stay open on their current sites
- 11 schools received decisions to merge, which will create five merged schools
- 11 schools received decisions to close
- Two schools chose to voluntarily close
In addition, a new year 1-13 community campus will be established in the Aranui area, in consultation with the community.