Grow­ing roles pres­sure schools

North Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - AMY BAKER

One Up­per Har­bour school is over ca­pac­ity and four oth­ers are at risk from over­crowd­ing, ac­cord­ing to a re­cently re­leased re­port.

A Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion re­port showed 40 schools in the Auck­land re­gion are cur­rently over ca­pac­ity, and 130 schools are over 85 per cent ca­pac­ity, most with con­tin­u­ing role growth.

RidgeView School in Pare­moremo was listed as pro­jected to be over ca­pac­ity as of Oc­to­ber 2016 with 106.7 per cent. At risk of reach­ing ca­pac­ity in the Up­per Har­bour re­gion were Oteha Val­ley School, Massey’s Royal Road School and Don Buck Road Pri­mary School, and Up­per Har­bour Pri­mary School.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion de­fines ca­pac­ity as be­ing 100 per cent use of a school’s build­ings. Any school op­er­at­ing above 85 per cent ca­pac­ity was at risk of be­com­ing over­crowded.

Don Buck Road Pri­mary School prin­ci­pal Jen­nice Mur­ray said de­vel­op­ment and more peo­ple buy­ing houses in the area had meant less tran­siency and an in­creased roll count.

‘‘We have to think re­ally hard now about how this will look, when it will take place, what it means to us lo­cally,’’ she said.

Mur­ray said the board of trus­tees had been ac­tive in mak­ing sure chil­dren had proper class­room space. Two tem­po­rary class­rooms had been in­stalled in March and April.

Royal Road School prin­ci­pal Wayne Leighton said the school was work­ing with the min­istry on plans for growth.

‘‘We don’t feel like we’re un­der stress at the mo­ment but we just feel good we’re mak­ing plans into the fu­ture for the pre­dicted roll­growth in the Massey area.’’

Up­per Har­bour Pri­mary School prin­ci­pal Sue Smith said the school was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant role growth’’. She said the school had been ad­vised three tem­po­rary class­rooms would be in­stalled this sum­mer for 2018.

The 2016/17 min­istry re­port, Auck­land Re­gion School­ing Net­work An­nual Plan (N1), stated while re­gional pres­sures were high­lighted, some schools show­ing as over ca­pac­ity may al­ready be man­ag­ing growth.

Ex­tremely high growth is ex­pected in green­field ar­eas where de­vel­op­ment is planned, in­clud­ing in Sil­verdale, Kumeu, When­u­a­pai and Hob­sonville. The re­port sourced data from school roll re­turns, Sta­tis­tics New Zealand, Auck­land Coun­cil and other agen­cies.

AMY BAKER/FAIR­FAX NZ

Don Buck Pri­mary School got two new tem­po­rary class­rooms this year.

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