Wakatipu education survey to find preferred ideas

An online survey has opened to gather views on ideas for the future of schooling in the Wakatipu Basin area. The ideas came out of a series of workshops attended by more than 100 people.

The community engagement is all part of work being done by the Ministry of Education to plan for future growth in the area. This is particularly important as in recent years the rate of growth has exceeded school-age population projections.

There is significant potential for further development within the Wakatipu Basin, but less certainty about the rate that these will be developed, and whether they are likely to include large numbers of school-aged children.

Julie Anderson is the Director of Education for Otago/Southland:

“For the purposes of the engagement process, we have focused on what the potential numbers of students could be across the district, to take a more strategic, longer term view.  This will help us understand the potential number of students we may need to accommodate in schools, so we can plan to have the right amount of space, in the right areas, to meet demand.”

The Ministry’s contracted facilitator, Dr Gabrielle Wall, has been leading the community engagement:

“I met with 122 people over the course of the face-to-face workshops, including high school students, parents, representatives from ECE, schools and tertiary, and representatives from community and other agencies.”

She continues: “Participants spoke with passion about what they value about the Wakatipu area, with some of the themes being the importance of community and the natural environment, as well as a sense of urgency about getting underway with identifying and implementing options.”

Work is already underway on the new site for Wakatipu High School. Earthworks are taking place to prepare the ground for the foundations, which are scheduled to be put in place in October.

The new school site in Remarkables Park, Frankton means the Year 9 – 13 school will be able to expand its growing roll from around 840 to 1,200. The new facilities are also being designed to allow future expansion that could cater for up to 1800 students on the site.

The Ministry of Education recognises that further planning needs to take place to anticipate future roll growth. The aim of the survey is to identify the preferred ideas raised at the workshops.

Go to the Future Education for the Wakatipu Basin page for further information and to take part in the survey which closes on 15 July.

Dr Wall will combine the results of the survey with information from the face-to-face engagement to form a report to the Ministry about the future of schooling in the Wakatipu Basin.


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