10 Aug 2009

School appeals to stay open

8:53 pm on 10 August 2009

A Christchurch primary school is lodging an appeal with the Government on Monday to remain open. Aorangi Primary - Prime Minister John Key's former school - now serves the children of refugees and migrants, and bilingual pupils.

Principal Stephanie Thompson says the previous Government allocated $2 million to rebuild the school. She says she's shocked that National is considering closing it.

The Government cites a falling roll, the cost of rebuilding and the capacity of nearby schools to take the students.

Ms Thompson says many of the pupils are the children of refugees - including some from the refugee ship Tampa - and the school is one of the few stabilities in their lives.

Aorangi Primary is a decile 3 school in a low socio-economic area.

Education Minister Anne Tolley told Radio New Zealand she will look at all the information received during the consultation period before making a decision. The school's submission runs to 80 pages.