West Coast rural school to close

Inangahua Junction School is set to close after the roll fell to just two pupils.
Ministry of Education deputy secretary sector enablement and support Katrina Casey confirmed the closure process was under way.

The board of trustees wrote to the ministry to say it believed the school should close.

"We replied informing the board of the school closure process and arranged to meet with the board and principal as part of the voluntary closure process," Ms Casey said.

That was followed by a formal request in May for voluntary closure from the end of 2018.

"The board informed us that the school's closure has the support of the local parent community."

As part of the closure process the Minister of Education wrote to the board to explain that before a decision could be made, the ministry would be consulting on his behalf with the board and the boards of neighbouring schools where the rolls might be affected.

"We will soon be consulting with other schools in the area," Ms Casey said.

The roll was 12 just five years ago but has fluctuated. Funding has also dropped, from $72,189 to $59,915.

There used to be 24 schools in and around Reefton alone, but now there are just two in Reefton, and at Inangahua Junction. Reefton is 34km away and Murchison 50km.

- By Laura Mills


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