Dunedin schools have been left frustrated they were in the dark about the release of a child sex offender in the area.

Otago Boys' High School and Arthur Street School are less than 300m from Kavanagh College, yet were not informed by the Department of Corrections about the release of a child sex offender into the area until the matter was revealed in yesterday's Otago Daily Times.

The child sex offender is subject to an extended supervision order with 13 special conditions, including GPS monitoring and an order not to associate with anyone under the age of 16, on top of the order's 11 standard conditions.

Kavanagh College and St Joseph's Cathedral School warned families on Wednesday of the offender's release following notification from the Department of Corrections and the Ministry of Education and Otago Girls' High School was also visited by staff from the government departments this week.


The two Arthur St-based schools and early childhood centres in the area learned of the man's release only after publication of the matter in the ODT.

Arthur Street School principal Kim Blackwood said two parents raised concerns about the matter yesterday.

Corrections contacted her yesterday morning about the man's release.

"I'm just disappointed that it made the newspaper before all the schools in the area were contacted," she said.

"Kavanagh is so close that they should probably have contacted us."

As a full primary school, Arthur Street had children old enough to spend time in the park next to the school before their parents picked them up and the warning would have allowed the school to ensure everyone was informed and safe, she said.

Corrections provided few details about the offender but did provide advice to give to parents, she said.

Otago Boys' High School rector Richard Hall said he arranged a meeting with Corrections for next week after the ODT article was published.

He had not heard from Corrections before then, he said.

A staff member from an early childhood centre in the area said the centre was not advised of the man's release.

However, after parents raised concerns yesterday the centre's manager contacted Corrections, the woman, who did not wish to be identified, said.

The department explained that child-care centres were not contacted because the man was "assessed as being of no danger to preschoolers", she said.

Pioneers, which operates several early childhood centres in Dunedin, was also not informed of the man's release.

Director Penelope Pask said they received no contact from Corrections before the ODT's report or yesterday.Department of Corrections Otago district manager Raymond Clark said the department notified schools, neighbours and other community members on "a case-by-case basis".

"Community Corrections staff assess a range of factors using their experience and judgement when making notifications to neighbours, schools and other agencies based on thorough risk assessment guidelines," he said.

"In this instance, Community Corrections staff have now spoken to the schools that had not been previously notified."

Anyone with concerns or questions about the matter should contact Corrections on (03) 470-3160, he said.