School needs sur­vey

Fo­rums con­sult on Wanaka’s fu­ture

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By MAR­JORIE COOK More in­for­ma­tion:

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion is mov­ing quickly on to its next phase of con­sul­ta­tion for Wanaka’s fu­ture pri­mary and sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion needs but has no timetable to build a new school.

A sur­vey closing this Fri­day asks what sort of schools the com­mu­nity might like in the fu­ture, in­clud­ing a new in­ter­me­di­ate or mid­dle school, or whether the min­istry should ‘‘grow’’ the ex­ist­ing schools.

The sur­vey also asks if peo­ple are in­ter­ested in spe­cial in­ter­est schools, such as Ru­dolph Steiner or Green Schools.

Other ques­tions are about Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege – whether it needs to be at a new site, whether hubs could be set up to teach spe­cial­ist sub­jects, whether it could be a year 9-13 school or con­tinue to ac­cept en­rol­ments from year 7.

Wanaka’s pop­u­la­tion has in­creased about 28 per cent since 2006 and is about 9036 (2013 Cen­sus). This in­cludes Lake Hawea, Matuk­i­tuki, Lug­gate, Al­bert Town and Cardrona.

The 2013 Cen­sus re­vealed a large co­hort of young chil­dren mov­ing into the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, with 663 chil­dren aged 0-4 and 612 chil­dren aged be­tween 5-9 years. There were an­other 525 chil­dren aged be­tween 10-14 years and 393 teenagers aged be­tween 15-19.

The min­istry’s head of sec­tor en­able­ment and sup­port, Katrina Casey, said the first face-to-face com­po­nent of con­sul­ta­tion in Wanaka has been com­pleted.

‘‘There is no cur­rent time­frame es­tab­lished for in­creas­ing school ca­pac­ity in the Wanaka area. A time­frame will be determined depend­ing on what op­tions are ad­vanced. No op­tions have been determined at this stage,’’ she said.

About 150 peo­ple at­tended fo­rums in May and up to 50 stu­dents also par­tic­i­pated in stu­dent con­sul­ta­tion ses­sions.

‘‘Key themes that are be­gin­ning to emerge are around the im­por­tance of the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment as a dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture, the in­te­gra­tion of tech­nol­ogy and main­tain­ing the feel­ing of com­mu­nity. Based on the feed­back we are look­ing to bring the sec­ond stage of this process for­ward, to try and give the com­mu­nity cer­tainty around op­tions sooner,’’ Casey said last week.

There would be more chances to get in­volved over the next few months, she said. ed­u­ca­­con­sul­ta­tion.

Colour­ful sug­ges­tions from Wanaka stu­dents about the fu­ture of their ed­u­ca­tion.

Photo: Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion

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