Year 9 rolls are expected to increase by up to 30% for
several Dunedin secondary schools next year, and though the
boom is not predicted to last, one school is considering
reopening a boarding hostel it closed in 2006.
Taieri College principal David Hunter said his year 9 roll
was expected to increase about 30% next year, jumping from
130 pupils this year to 170 for 2014.
''There will be an extra year 9 class to accommodate the
''It's good. It's positive,'' Mr Hunter said.
''We are funded for the number of people coming through the
gate, but we also focus on the quality of education, and we
are careful that we don't substitute that quality with higher
''It's a careful balancing act.''
He attributed the increased roll to an ebb and flow of pupils
at the school.
He said the school's year 9 roll traditionally fluctuated
between 130 and 170 pupils.
Otago Girls' High School principal Linda Miller was also
expecting a marked increase in year 9 pupils next year, from
165 this year to 194 next year (a 17% increase).
She was not certain about what had caused the growth, but
believed it might have something to do with the community's
recognition of the school's quality education programmes.
''Dunedin is incredibly well served by its secondary schools;
but certainly, community perception does play a large part in
where pupils go,'' she said.
Bayfield High School principal Judith Forbes said she, too,
was expecting the year 9 roll to be slightly higher in 2014,
but would not elaborate.
Other schools spoken to by the Otago Daily Times reported
their year 9 intakes for next year were expected to be on a
par with previous years.
While King's High School principal Dan Reddiex declined to
say how many extra year 9 pupils he was expecting at the
school next year, he did say the first-year roll was again
Although he was pleased the school's roll was continuing to
grow, he believed the growth was not expected to persist.
In a bid to prepare for the eventual lull in pupil numbers,
he said the school was investigating re-establishing its
The school's former boarding hostel on Macandrew Rd was
closed in 2006 after the board of trustees decided there was
no longer enough demand to justify its continuation.
It was a trend echoed in many other cities throughout the
Mr Reddiex said much of the decision to re-establish a
boarding hostel was about the sustainability of the school
With the static rolls projected in Dunedin, he said, the
hostel would enable the school to sustain its roll numbers by
attracting pupils from outside the city.
''The country boys bring different life perspectives and
experiences to the school, which we would encourage.''
As for where and when it would be built, it was still too
early to say, Mr Reddiex said.