Flag Swamp School set to close

Flag Swamp School, on State Highway1 south of Palmerston, is set to close at the end of this term. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Flag Swamp School, on State Highway1 south of Palmerston, is set to close at the end of this term. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Flag Swamp School, with a roll of four pupils, is to shut at the end of the first school term this year.

The Ministry of Education has confirmed the closure of the school, stating it faced a ‘‘number of pressures’’.

Local parents had been sending their children to other schools and there was no permanent principal at Flag Swamp, Ministry of Education sector enablement and support deputy secretary Katrina Casey said, in a statement.

‘‘It is more viable for us to support larger schools in the area that can provide greater educational and social opportunities for students.”

Karitane School was suggested as an alternative for parents who wanted to send their children to a small school, she said.

‘‘We will work with parents and whanau to support existing students to transition to other schools.’’

The school, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in October, has consistently had a small roll in recent times.

The highest the school’s roll reached in the past two decades was 31 pupils in 2001.

Since then, it has declined steadily, with just six pupils
at the school last year, and
four this year.

Consultation over the ministry’s proposal to close the school ended last year and a report was prepared for Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

A similar report was prepared by the board of trustees and community members, attempting to keep the school open.

The school’s limited statutory manager, Cleave Hay, declined to comment yesterday, but confirmed staff, pupils and their families had been informed of the decision.

Staff, former staff and pupils’ families did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

molly.houseman@odt.co.nz

Comments

And the school closures continue under labour as they did under national.

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