Central City Learning Community Cluster

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This learning community cluster includes three state primary schools, one special school, two state secondary schools, three independent schools, one state integrated primary school, one state integrated secondary school, one relocated state integrated secondary school on a temporary site and 14 early childhood education providers.

As part of renewal planning, the Minister of Education has announced final decisions  to merge Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti with Discovery One and to merge Phillipstown School with Woolston School (on Woolston School site).

Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti and Discovery One accepted their interim decision and received a final decision in March 2013.

Phillipstown School and Woolston School received a final decision in May 2013.

The Ministry will work closely with the schools to provide extensive support throughout the implementation of this proposal.

If your school has a final decision to close or merge you can visit nzschools.tki.org.nz  for more information on your local schooling options. 

Supporting information for final decisions

Documents are available in PDF format only. Accessible versions can be supplied on request from info@minedu.govt.nz

To view supporting information for interim decisions for all schools in this learning community cluster see the interim decisions page.

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


  1. Christchurch East School
  2. Phillipstown School
  3. Discovery One
  4. Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti
  5. Southern Regional Health School
  6. Hagley Community College
  7. St Mary’s School
  8. Catholic Cathedral College
  9. Marian College
  10. St Michael’s Church School
  11. The Cathedral Grammar School
  12. Christ’s College

Early childhood education (ECE)

There are 534 licence spaces across the early childhood education providers in this cluster, including 139 spaces for children under two years of age. At July 2011, 438 children enrolled at early childhood services in this cluster, 92 were under two.

Of the 101 new entrant students who enrolled at a school in the Central City Cluster in the year to March 2012, 98 (97%) had attended an ECE service.

Of the 18 Māori new entrant students, 16 (89%) had attended an ECE service and all of the 12 Pasifika new entrants  (100%) had attended an ECE service.


  1. Les Mills Christchurch Childcare Centre
  2. The Activity Room
  3. Kidsfirst Kindergarten Phillipstown
  4. ABC Parkside
  5. ABC Salisbury Street
  6. CPIT Early Learning Centre
  7. Elim Early Learning Centre
  8. Elim Wonder Babies
  9. Hagley Community College Preschool
  10. Lindisfarne Nursery School
  11. Tafesilafa’i Preschool
  12. Te Waka Huruhurumanu ki Otautahi Early Learning
  13. The Cathedral Grammar Preschool
  14. Te Hohepa te Kohanga Reo

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 and special character 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 Central City cluster includes three state integrated and three independent schools. Discovery One and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti are special character schools and were both   relocated temporarily to Halswell following the February 2012 earthquakes.

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.

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

Central City cluster ERO review cycle

Christchurch East School 1 year
Phillipstown School 3 years
Discovery One School (Pre-Quake 3 years
Southern Regional Health School In progress
Hagley Community College 4-5 years
Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti (Pre-Quake) 3 years
St Mary’s School (Christchurch) Under Review
Catholic Cathedral College 3 years
Marian College 4-5 years
St Michael’s Church School In progress
The Cathedral Grammar School 3 years
Christ’s College 3 years

School roll changes

Image showing Central City cluster total 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 698 students. While individual rolls have fluctuated, the combined primary roll in this cluster has declined by 148 to 550 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 Central City cluster individual schools roll: 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Central City 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 of Central City cluster.

Central City 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 were required to report on learners’ achievement for 2011 in the 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 shortly.

Special Education

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

In addition, Van Asch Deaf Education Centre provides on-site support at Hagley Community College with a classroom (satellite provision) for Deaf and hearing impaired learners.

The Southern Regional Health School is also situated in this cluster.

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 46 primary and 108 secondary learners across the schools in this cluster.


Technology provision in this cluster is located at Phillipstown school, Christchurch East school and Catholic Cathedral College.

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 and TC3.

Geotechnical assessments on the state school sites in this cluster indicate land issues are unlikely to compromise continued education provision.

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

Buildings – State schools only

There are 34 teaching spaces included in the 4,066 square metres (net area, which is internal useable space) of teaching and learning and administration space across this cluster of schooling provision.

The teaching, learning and administrative space is incorporated into 10 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 6 buildings within the cluster. There are weather tightness issues in a further 5 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
Christchurch East School 9 9 5 5 2
Discovery One n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Phillipstown School 1 1 1 0 0
Cluster 10 10 6 5 2

Based on March 2012 rolls a minimum of 14 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
Christchurch East School 282 17 188 8
Discovery One 175 n/a 146 n/a
Phillipstown School 138 17 137 6
Cluster 595 34 471 14

The way forward

Extensive condition assessments and engineering investigations have confirmed all buildings in this cluster 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. Two are not considered cost effective to repair. This includes 10 teaching spaces.

Future planning

The earthquakes provide an opportunity, as outlined in the Education Renewal Recovery Programme [PDF; 881kb], 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 Central City 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

The Ministry of Education will formally consult with these clusters and their communities on the possible shape of future education provision.

This will include providing detailed information on the issues and options affecting each individual cluster for community consideration.

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 schooling

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.

A separate discussion will, however, also be held with all state secondary schools around secondary provision going forward.

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