Jacinda Ardern won’t close school with NO pupils and NO full-time staff

South Auckland Middle School FB page
PM Jacinda Ardern congratulates a  Partnership school student from a school that she is closing down.

How can Jacinda Ardern’s government call itself Progressive when it allows a school that serves no one to stay open but chooses to close down popular schools with waiting lists like the Partnership schools of the four students whom she recently honoured with certificates?

Tuturumuri School, about 30 minutes’ drive from Martinborough, Wairarapa, has no pupils and no fulltime staff.

[…] There are no fulltime staff or pupils at the rural Wairarapa school, but it remains open, with the Ministry of Education continuing to pay its annual operating costs of about $250,000.

The school’s roll has steadily fallen, from 25 in 2008 to just three last year. Those three have left, and there have been no enrolments so far this year.

The school was down to three pupils last year. It now has none.

But there some enrolments pending, and there were no plans for closure, acting board of trustees chairwoman Jocelyn Busby said.

I can tell you the school’s still open, and the ministry and the NZSTA [New Zealand School Trustees Association] are in support of the board of trustees,” she said.

[…] Tuturumuri School soldiers on, with Ministry of Education support, in the hope of future enrolments.

Yet, Partnership schools that are full and with waiting lists have been told to close or be forcibly closed by Jacinda Ardern’s government. Despite being promised consultation, negotiation, transparency, openness and a way to transition, the schools were instead left in in limbo in an information vacuum over the holidays. They were then blindsided by Education Minister Chris Hopkins’ brutal press release. As one person commented, it was a bit like telling your wife you want a divorce via Facebook.

[…] Ministry spokeswoman Katrina Casey said it was working closely with Busby on its future options.

“Our usual practice is to continue to pay a quarter of their base, heat, light, water and maintenance funding, regardless of whether students are on-site,” she said in a statement.

[…] According to the school’s website, it has a part-time caretaker, release teacher and part-time office administrator.

New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) vice-president Rikki Sheterline said the situation in Tuturumuri was not unusual. “I’ve known of cases before where schools have gone down to no students then gone back up again.”[…]

 – Stuff

So, a school with no pupils gets financial support, communication and is not threatened with closure but Partnership schools full of Maori students and other students let down by the State system are being made to walk the plank by Jacinda Ardern.

Where is the compassion she is always bleating on about? Where is her passion for lifting children out of poverdy? Has she forgotten the promises she made to Maori at Waitangi so quickly?

 


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