Te Kura o Ōmaio, Te Whānau-a-Apanui Area School and Raukokore School is set to close on 27 January 2016, and a new Year 1-13 school will open which will be initially known as Te Kaha Community School.
Education Minister Hekia Parata says the new school to be opened in the Western East Cape area next year will provide better educational opportunities for the young people of Te Whānau-a-Apanui.
The new school will open at the beginning of 2016 and operate on the current Te Whānau-ā-Apanui Area School site.
Around 40 submissions were considered from the latest round of consultation, Parata says the Ministry of Education has engaged with the Western East Cape community over the future of its schooling since 2012.
She says, “I have carefully considered all the submissions. I know change can be hard, but this reorganisation will provide better educational outcomes for students. The boards of Te Whānau-a-Apanui Area School and Te Kura o Ōmaio as well as other members of the community support the new school. I know the Raukokore community wanted to retain its school, but it would not have been able to provide the same sustainable, quality education. There will be people who are sad at the change, but it’s also an exciting time to be part of the development of a new school."
Parata says the declining population has been a key factor in fewer educational opportunities for children and young people in the area. That, "the change will provide stronger governance, refreshed leadership and teaching, better supported teaching staff, and enhanced opportunities for student learning."
The Ministry of Education will work with the boards of the three schools to implement the change and nominations for the Establishment Board of Trustees will be invited and the board appointed shortly.
One of the first tasks for the board will be to choose a new name for the school.
Parata thanked everyone for their participation in the three-year process, and for their full-hearted commitment to their children getting a better education and better futures and for doing so with a strong sense of their Apanui identity.