New primary school planned

The Education Ministry is planning a new primary school for Cambridge and has bought a site.

It will be the subject of a public meeting at Cambridge High School next Wednesday 12 from 5.30pm to 7.00pm

Katrina Casey, Deputy Secretary Sector Enablement and Support, said the ministry was aware Cambridge was in a growth phase and was actively planning for increases in the local school aged population.

“This has involved purchasing a site for a new contributing primary school on the western side of the township, near the main residential developments.”

There are no plans for a new secondary school. The Ministry says it plans to accommodate growth at the existing Cambridge High School site.

“Property redevelopment at Cambridge High School, including in roll growth classrooms, is currently underway and further investment is likely,” Ms Casey said.

The Ministry works with a National Education Growth Plan (NEGP) which provides options for managing growth in the short to medium term. It includes a range of “interventions” at a regional and catchment level when demand exceeds property capacity.

In the Cambridge catchment there are 15 schools – 13 state, a state integrated, and a private school; six contributing primary schools, six full primary, a restricted composite, and two secondary schools.

As at July 2018, the catchment had a combined school roll of 5,592 students, including 77 students in Māori Medium education and 41 ORS (Ongoing Resources Scheme) students.

The plan envisaged 140 additional student places at primary by this year, 70 additional student places at intermediate and 270 additional student places at secondary school level.

Ms Casey said Te Awamutu was not a growth area identified in the ministry’s NEGP “but we are aware of steady residential growth in the area”.

“As there is capacity in some primary schools in the local network, no new schools are likely in the foreseeable future, and we are seeking to manage this growth through enrolment schemes in the first instance, and additional classroom spaces where required.”

Te Awamutu College was operating slightly above capacity currently, but a significant proportion of the current roll is travelling from the Ōtorohanga area.

The Ministry was working with the College to develop and implement an enrolment scheme.

For more information about next week’s meeting contact Maehe Paki at [email protected]

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