Zon­ing a pos­si­bil­ity for Post­gate

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Par­ents who want to send their chil­dren to Post­gate School face a ner­vous wait as zon­ing looks likely in or­der to curb a bal­loon­ing roll.

The Whitby school’s pop­u­lar­ity has seen the roll climb to 330, with nine new stu­dents start­ing last week. This has forced the de­ci­sion to turn the staffroom into a makeshift class­room, while the staff use a ‘‘shoe­box’’ for them­selves, says prin­ci­pal Adam Camp­bell.

The school’s board of trustees chair­woman Jac­qui Ed­wards says it is not an ideal sit­u­a­tion for teach­ers, and zon­ing is one op­tion they are look­ing at to rein in their stu­dent num­bers.

Chil­dren are walk­ing past nearby schools in Wai­tan­girua ev­ery morn­ing – some of which have empty class­rooms and fall­ing rolls – while some Post­gate stu­dents come from Porirua East, Ranui and Ti­tahi Bay. Pos­i­tive word-of-mouth, the ‘‘ Post­gate pride’’ that per­me­ates the school and its af­ter-school care has made it at­trac­tive to the wider com­mu­nity, says Ms Ed­wards.

‘‘We’d love the min­istry [of Ed­u­ca­tion] to give us more money to keep build­ing and build­ing but the re­al­ity is we won’t get it. So we have had meet­ings among our board and we are talk­ing to our par­ents, as well as the min­istry, about what our op­tions are.

‘‘Zon­ing is one way for­ward but we need to di­gest a lot of in­for­ma­tion first, es­pe­cially so we can look at how this will af­fect our school.’’

She says it is cre­at­ing some angst among par­ents, but cur­rent stu­dents and their younger si­b­lings will not be af­fected.

‘‘We will not be send­ing peo­ple away but we do have to look at our fu­ture en­rol­ments, that’s a given.’’

The zone bound­aries are still to be de­ter­mined by the min­istry and Ms Ed­wards ex­pects them to be ‘‘a lit­tle lim­it­ing’’. She says the school does not want to see a fall­ing roll come 2013 or 2014.

The school had zon­ing about 20 years ago and it did cause num­bers to fall.

Other Whitby schools Dis­cov­ery and Ad­ven­ture use zon­ing, as do Pare­mata, Pa­pakowhai and Pau­ata­hanui, while Tairangi, Rangikura and Te Kura Maori o Porirua do not.

A Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son told Kapi-Mana News that for­mal no­tice about im­ple­ment­ing an ‘‘en­rol­ment scheme’’ was made in June.

Once con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity and neigh­bour­ing schools has oc­curred, the min­istry will re­view the feed­back be­fore any fi­nal de­ci­sions are made.

‘‘ Those stu­dents al­ready en­rolled are not af­fected [while] in-zone stu­dents have the right of en­rol­ment at any time.

‘‘Out-of-zone stu­dents are sub­ject to a bal­lot process.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.