School dresses to back Canterbury

By Lin Ferguson

Wanganui Intermediate School staff turned out in the Canterbury colours of red and black yesterday in support of their Christchurch colleagues' action.

Christchurch schools were out in force yesterday protesting at the way in which they and their communities have been treated by the Minister of Education and the Ministry of Education over planned school closures.

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced on Monday that 12 schools would close and there would be six mergers, including two schools merged at another site. Seven schools will shut by next January, despite assurances from the Ministry of Education that children could stay until 2015. Final decisions would be made in late May.

Wanganui Intermediate School principal Charles Oliver said his staff decided to wear Canterbury colours in protest against the manner in which the decisions had been made.

"We all realise that as a result of the earthquakes there is a need to review and remodel the schooling network in Christchurch, but the stress and unnecessary anxiety caused to school staff, parents, children and communities could have been hugely reduced if the process had been handled in a more collaborative and compassionate manner."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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