Education Ministry response following “devastating” news on Rolleston College

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 04, 2024 |

The Education Ministry said Rolleston College is a “priority for investment” despite delaying new construction.

It’s been revealed the Ministry will delay the school’s new second campus project, a decision made without consultation.

Rolleston College agreed to new classrooms, a tech block and gym at its senior campus.

Principal Rachel Skelton said the Ministry unexpectedly decided to pare down, revamp, and postpone the project without engaging stakeholders.

Ministry of Education Property Head Sam Fowler said “the second campus at Rolleston College is a priority for investment. 

“The National Education Growth Plan identifies the need for new schools, school expansions and roll growth required in the network over the coming years.

“We will prioritise investment based on the pattern of demand for new places, the funding available for roll growth and new schools and the costs arising from our current delivery activities.

“We need to make sure that we make the right investments through our new schools programme in order that we can best respond to the need for additional capacity across the country” Fowler said.

“This can mean the staging of new schools with a plan to expand over time or the opening of schools in temporary facilities while permanent facilities are planned and delivered.

 “We met with the College last week to discuss proposals to reduce the scope of the first stage of development to reflect what is needed when the campus opens. 

“The College raised several issues with what was proposed, and we will continue to work with them to ensure that the new facilities meet the need” Fowler said.

“Stage one is proposed to include a 24-classroom STEM block, a single-court gymnasium and 12 temporary classrooms.

 Growth in the area is high and additional capacity is needed in the network. Further stages of development will continue to grow the campus over time as the College roll grows.”

 An expansion to the school’s existing campus is currently forecast to be completed in July.

The National Education Growth Plan identifies areas where population growth will be highest and demand for additional space in schools will be greatest as well as identifying measures that need to consider in order to manage, maintain and grow the schooling network.

“Our job is to manage school infrastructure by planning for growth and population shifts both in the short and long-term and ensure that every child has access to a local school.”

“We manage school networks nationwide using a range of data including population projections, planned housing developments, census data, local council information, how well schools are utilised, enrolment data and other local factors.  

“We will prioritise investment across the NEGP based on the pattern of demand for new places, the funding available for roll growth and new schools and the costs arising from our current delivery activities.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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