The kura at the centre of a controversy involving a student being slapped is facing closure.

Nga Kakano o te Kaihanga Kura told students and their families that the kura would not be open next term, although the Ministry of Education hasn't received formal notification.

The kura, a private Christian school, has been trying for many years to receive support from the Ministry of Education in various ways, including applying for partnership school status. Financial problems were understood to be behind the closure.

In February, Principal Te Rangi Allen was discharged without conviction after he pleaded guilty to slapping a 14-year-old boy with the back of his hand in a classroom last June.


Mr Allen told the court he believed the boy had sworn at his wife, a teacher at the school. He was censured by the Teacher's Council for the incident earlier this week.

Families and past students gathered at the kura in Henderson today to say goodbye.

Craig Witters has two children that attend the kura and said he had spoken to parents "distraught" at the prospect of finding another school for their children to attend next term.

Mr Witters said he and other parents had many good things to say about the kura, which currently had 35 students, and had received a positive report from the Education Review Office.

"I don't know of anywhere else in Auckland that can offer the same things, the same kind of discipline and approach, that the kids get here," he said.

Mr Witters said a meeting would be held later tonight to discuss the future of the school with the community.

The school's future remained unclear tonight and the Ministry of Education said they had not been told by the school it was officially closing.

Katrina Casey, head of Sector Enablement and Support at the Ministry, said they were informed this morning by concerned parents that the kura had told them it would be closing.

"We are looking to clarify the situation and ensure that parents, families and students receive the support and information they need," she said.

"We will work to ensure there is an appropriate transition plan in place for all the children affected so they can start Term 3 in an appropriate school."

Nga Kakano o Te Kaihanga Kura is a private school and has tried to become a partnership school twice, as well as a state integrated school.

None of those applications were granted by the Ministry.

Recently, the kura had tried to arrange a satellite school operation with the Ministry of Education, but it had failed.

"We have attempted to work with the kura on strategies to find viable alternative arrangements to keep the school going... but these have been unsuccessful," Ms Casey said.

The school received no funding from the Ministry of Education.

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