Belfast Learning Community Cluster

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This cluster includes two state primary schools and seven early childhood education providers.

As part of renewal planning, the Minister of Education has announced a final decision for Ouruhia Model School to remain open but may be relocated to a new site in Belfast in the future.

Ouruhia Model School accepted their interim decision and received a final decision from the Minister in March 2013.

Supporting information for final decision

Documents are available in PDF format only. Accessible versions can be supplied on request from

The map below shows the current makeup of the learning community cluster.


  1. Belfast School
  2. Ouruhia Model School 

Early childhood education (ECE)

There are 316 licensed spaces across the early childhood education (ECE) providers in this cluster, including 68 spaces for children under two years of age. At July 2011, 345 children were enrolled at ECE services in this cluster, 26 were under two. Of the 81 new entrant students who enrolled at a school in the Belfast Cluster in the year to March 2012, 79 (98%) had attended an ECE service. All but one of the 17 Māori new entrant students (94%) had attended an ECE service. No Pasifika new entrants enrolled in a school in this cluster.


  1. Kidsfirst Kindergarten Belfast
  2. Belfast Playcentre
  3. Brooklands Playcentre
  4. ABC Belfast
  5. Bookworms Learning Centre
  6. Edukids Styxmill
  7. Northwood Preschool

ECE services are independently owned and managed.

School governance

There are three types of schools: state, private (or registered or independent) and state integrated schools. State integrated schools are former private schools which, while now “integrated” into the state system, also provide programmes around their particular religious or learning philosophy.

State and state integrated schools, while government funded, are managed by boards of trustees. Private schools receive only partial funding from the Government. Day to day management of all schools is the responsibility of the Principal. The Crown is responsible for property provision for state schools to ensure students have access to their closest school. The proprietors of state integrated and private schools are responsible for their own buildings. The Belfast cluster does not include any state integrated schools.

School boards are required to develop individual charters and annual plans and report their performance against these.  You will be able to access the school charter from your school or at Find a school.

The Education Review Office (ERO) reports on school and early childhood performance are publicly available.

Belfast cluster ERO review cycle

Belfast School 4-5 years
Ouruhia School 3 years

School roll changes

Image showing total Belfast cluster March roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Total cluster March roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

In March 2010, prior to the earthquakes, the primary schools in this cluster provided teaching and learning to 545 students. While individual rolls have fluctuated, the combined primary roll in this cluster has declined by 5 to 540 at March 2012.

Individual school March rolls, 2008, 2010, and 2012:

Note: only roll data for primary schools in this cluster is displayed.

Image showing Aranui cluster – Individual schools roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Belfast cluster – Individual schools roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

The following chart shows the ethnic composition of the combined cluster school rolls by percentage of total combined roll

Image showing ethnic composition for Belfast cluster.

Belfast cluster: ethnic composition.

Education achievement

National Standards aim to lift achievement in literacy and numeracy (reading, writing, and mathematics) by being clear about what students should achieve and by when. Boards are required to report on learner’s achievement for 2011 in their 2012 Annual Report. You will be able to access National Standards data for your school from the Find a school section of the Education Counts website  as soon as this information is available.

Special Education

Special Education delivers specialist services and support to learners with special education needs across this cluster. This includes support to the early childhood education, schools, teachers, parents, families and whānau.

Māori and Pasifika provision

Māori-medium education programmes involve students being taught either all or some curriculum subjects in the Māori language, either in immersion (Māori language only) or bilingual (Māori and English) programmes. There are no Māori or Pasifika bilingual units or language programmes delivered by schools in this cluster.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision

ESOL provision for refugee and new migrant learners from non-english speaking backgrounds is provided to 17 learners at Belfast School.


There is no specific technology provision located in this cluster. Schools are likely to be accessing it in neighbouring clusters.

Land – State schools only

School sites sit outside the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) land classification process and will not be given any Technical Category foundation rankings, though the land in the surrounding residential area of this cluster has been classified TC2. Geotechnical assessments on the state school sites in this cluster indicate land issues are unlikely to compromise continued education provision.

Further Ministry commissioned assessments will be required at a later date, should any of these sites be further developed.

Buildings – State schools only

There are 27 teaching spaces included in the 2866 square metres (of useable space) of teaching and learning and administration areas across this cluster of schooling provision. The teaching, learning and administrative space is incorporated into 20 actual buildings. All of these buildings have suffered damage during the earthquakes.  Repairs have yet to be made to the building stock. Condition assessments confirm over time earthquake strengthening will be required across 9 buildings within the cluster. There are weather tightness issues in a further 9 buildings.

Building condition information – State schools only

Number of buildings Number of buildings with EQ damage Number of buildings with strengthening required Number of buildings with weather tightness repairs required Number of buildings with both strengthening and weather tightness repairs
Belfast School 11 11 6 3 1
Ouruhia Model School 9 9 3 6 3
Cluster 20 20 9 9 4

Based on March 2012 rolls – a minimum of 22 teaching spaces will be required for ongoing teaching and learning in this cluster, as below.

School rolls and classroom numbers – State schools only

March 2010 roll Classroom (no.) current (July 2012) March 2012 roll Estimated classrooms required at March 2012
Belfast School 436 22 440 18
Ouruhia Model School 109 5 100 4
Cluster 545 27 540 22

The way forward

Extensive condition assessments and engineering investigations have confirmed all buildings in this cluster currently remain fit to occupy – unless already isolated. A number of the buildings across this cluster will, however, require remediation and strengthening over the longer-term. Five buildings are not considered cost effective to repair. This includes seven teaching spaces.

Future planning

The earthquakes provide an opportunity, as outlined in the Education Renewal Recovery Programme, to consider options for revitalising the greater Christchurch education network that go beyond simply replacing what was there. Discussions with schools, communities and providers within this cluster will be key to informing decisions around the future shape of education for the Belfast education community. Ways to enhance infrastructure and address existing property issues, improve education outcomes, and consider future governance will form part of these discussions.

Community engagement

Cluster support groups will be established to lead community engagement. The Ministry of Education will support these groups in providing information to their communities and gathering feedback to identify the preferred way forward. In line with the support signalled in the Education Renewal Recovery Programme [PDF; 881kb] for improved collaboration, this will provide an opportunity to gain further suggestions around shared provision across schools and services within specific areas of interest and the wider community, as appropriate. Boards will formally consult with their communities where closures or mergers are indicated

Check out the engagement schedule for further details.

Secondary schools

Secondary, state integrated and independent schools located within these clusters will be involved in discussions around the future shape of provision within their education communities.

The Ministry has worked collaboratively with secondary schools on ideas for future secondary school education provision in greater Christchurch.  In October 2013, the Minister of Education announced decisions for the secondary school network.

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