1 Nov 2012

Special needs pupils will suffer with school closure - trustee

8:28 am on 1 November 2012

A Maori trustee at Nelson's Salisbury School says the closure of the girls' residential school will lead to students suffering, including Waikato-Tainui girls who have behavioural problems.

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced her final decision on Wednesday to close Salisbury School and MacKenzie Residential School in Christchurch.

Gaynor Rikihana, the Maori representative on Salisbury's Board of Trustees, fears mainstream schools won't be able to cope with the special needs of Maori students.

Ms Rikihana says other schools are not equipped to be able to support their learning needs let alone the emotional needs that will come because the environment, unlike at Salisbury, is not conducive to their learning.

She says most of the Maori girls come from the Waikato region and struggled at mainstream schools, which couldn't handle them.