INDEPENDENT NEWS

The Ministry Of Education Fails To Provide For The Future Of Rolleston

Published: Mon 4 Mar 2024 05:41 PM
Rolleston College Principal Rachel Skelton:
The Ministry of Education has announced they have chosen to strip back, redesign, and delay the new campus for Rolleston College. They have also indicated they have no “appetite” or commitment to progress stages two and three, which will have massive implications for our current learners and future generations.
The Ministry's proposed changes to stage one of the new campus are substantial, inappropriate and deeply concerning.
Instead of classrooms, they have proposed to use makeshift Portacom buildings indefinitely, as learning spaces with no purpose-built fit-outs. While the science and technology block will undergo minimal alterations, the gymnasium's redesign eliminates all classroom spaces, hauora services for nurses and counsellors, and leaves staff without essential facilities.
The Ministry has also said there will be a significant delay in the commencement of stage one, with building initiation slated for July, pushing the delivery timeline back to 2026.
As a school community, we are devastated. The presented plan means the campus cannot function as a school and is completely inappropriate to cater to the Ministry agreed initial build roll of 1,500 students. With 2.5km separating the campuses, whilst under the same umbrella each campus needs to function independently on a day to day basis. We believe the Ministry is failing to provide the foundational resources necessary for effective learning, education, support services and cater for delivery of the senior New Zealand Curriculum in Rolleston beyond 2025.
A new campus is not a luxury but an urgent necessity with the unprecedented growth in Selwyn to ensure that every student receives the quality education they deserve.
Our roll growth is predicted to grow to 3,000 by the early 2030s – that’s approximately 1,200 more students we need to cater for in six years. Our current campus is already at capacity with a roll of 1,800 students and this will further strain resources, impact learning environments, and place added pressure on students, parents, and our dedicated teaching staff.
We are actively engaging with Government and Ministry officials to convey the critical nature of our situation and the immediate need for a new campus to be delivered, that is fit to deliver the Senior Curriculum, inspire and empower students – not be taught out of transportable portacoms.
We have also invited Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, Education Minister Erica Stanford and Selwyn MP Nicola Grigg to come to Rolleston College, listen to our concerns and see first hand how much of a failure this is for our whole community and district.
We urge our community to rally together and express the urgency and desperate need for a new campus to decision-makers within the Ministry and Government. As a collective voice, we can advocate for the Ministry to revisit their proposal.
We encourage all families to attend upcoming meetings where we will discuss the situation in detail, share information, and address any questions or concerns they may have. Please stay up-to-date with all updates on our website or social media pages as we navigate this challenge.

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