School rolls stable despite economy

Outgoing St Peter’s College principal Martin Chamberlain
Outgoing St Peter’s College principal Martin Chamberlain
The economy may be slowing, but families are staying put in the Gore district, with many schools in the area projecting no change or slight increases in their rolls for 2009.

East Gore School principal Wes Gentle said the numbers for next year ‘‘looked pretty good''.
‘‘We are up a little with over 20 new entrants starting in the new year,'' Mr Gentle said.

Wyndham Primary School principal Neil Winefield reported the school's roll would increase from 118 to 122 pupils.

Otama School principal Shona Hewlett said during the past four years the school's roll had increased from 17 to 35 and she predicted numbers would stay steady at 35 for 2009.

A new teaching area and administration block is about to be built at Otama School and, all going well, will be completed by the end of term one.

Outgoing St Peter's College principal Martin Chamberlain said the school was expecting a three per cent increase in numbers.
‘‘We have an especially large intake from St Mary's [Primary] School,'' Mr Chamberlain said.

‘‘Normally we have about 30, but next year we have 40 and then in 2010 we will have 18.
‘‘St Mary's accounts for 65 per cent of our intake.''

St Mary's principal Chris Moriaty said the 40 primary pupils leaving for St Peter's College would cause the roll to drop, but he expected it to bounce back in 2010.

Gore High School rector Eion Crosbie said next year's roll would increase by about 10 pupils.

He said it was hard to quantify the impact the dairy boom would have on the school.

‘‘People come and go during the year and I would say it probably affects the primary schools more,'' Mr Crosbie said.

Clinton School principal Amanda Taylor said dairying in the district made it hard to predict numbers for next year.

‘‘The dairy market is having such an impact - it's so hard to say,'' she said.

Both Waikoikoi and Edendale Schools expect slight increases. Edendale principal David McKenzie said the school hoped to go from a five-teacher school to six in 2009.

‘‘We are gearing towards a six teacher school and hoping to see further growth,'' Mr McKenzie said.
‘‘There are many positive things happening in and around Edendale,'' he said.

Blue Mountain College principal Kevin McSweeney said the school's roll would be ‘‘about the same''.

‘‘In these economic times there are still good jobs out their for seniors who are prepared to work hard and get their hands dirty,'' Mr McSweeney said.

‘‘We are very pleased not to have to worry about numbers for next year.''

Two other West Otago Schools, Heriot and Tapanui, predicted their rolls would remain steady next year, as did Mataura, Lumsden, West Gore and Gore Main Schools.

The roll at Waikaia School is dropping slightly, although significant growth is expected at the school in two years because of a mini baby boom in the area.

Waikaka School's roll will go down from 75 pupils this year to 60 next year. Waikaka School principal Bronwyn McCall said families had left the area in search of employment opportunities elsewhere.


Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter