Seven Corstorphine pupils back for term 2

Seven pupils are expected to return to Dunedin's Corstorphine School next week for the start of the second term, despite a mass exodus last term.

The school applied to the Ministry of Education late last year for voluntary closure because of a declining roll.

It is the third Dunedin primary school in the past six months to apply for voluntary closure.

Several parents of pupils at the school were angered last term by the principal, Marion Carter, who appeared to be urging them to find new schools for their children before the Ministry of Education had officially given a closing date for Corstorphine School.

Mrs Carter has been taking pupils to their new schools for visits which were aimed at helping them with their transition from Corstorphine.

While many parents had decided to move their children to other schools for term two, the parents of seven pupils had decided to return their children to Corstorphine School because the Ministry of Education had not yet made a decision about its fate.

School board of trustees chairwoman Sheralyn Weepers said the school roll had gone from 110 pupils four years ago to 17 this year.

Reasons for the roll decline included the fact families were not moving into the suburb and a stigma that the school educated children from Mongrel Mob families, she said.

The school had contacted other nearby schools and attempted to amalgamate, as Ocean View and Brighton Schools had done.

However, the bid was unsuccessful.

The board of trustees hoped the ministry would approve the school's closure by July 2, the end of term two this year.

A ministry spokesman said a decision about whether the school should be closed had still not been made.



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