School plan progressing 'slowly'

The promoter of an independent school for Queenstown says the project is ''slowly making some progress'' but the announcement of an opening date is ''not imminent''.

Wentworth College principal Bruce Tong, of Auckland, first mooted the independent school for the resort in 2012. At that point, it was suggested the school could be opened this year.

In April last year, Mr Tong announced the preferred site for the multimillion-dollar school, which would initially cater for up to 100 year 7, 8 and 9 pupils, was at the Jacks Point subdivision. However, a site within that zone was still to be chosen.

Mr Tong told the Otago Daily Times the demand was ''definitely there'' for the school and the project was ''moving quietly forward''.

''It's not [happening] as quickly as I'd like ... It's a slow process. Ideally, we'd like to go much faster, [but] we're just biding our time.''

He said ''a number of sites'' were being looked at and he was waiting for ''a couple of things ... around planning and what have you''.

The proposal would see funding come entirely from investors and fees from parents, which could be about $10,000 a year for a primary school pupil and $15,000 a year for a secondary school pupil.

The fees would also help pay teachers' salaries and assist with the running of the school.

It was likely the school would follow the Wentworth model, which had a ratio of one teacher to 11 or 12 pupils.


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