Ministry talks school numbers

The Education Ministry is continuing to work with Te Awamutu College to introduce an enrolment scheme – and there are no plans for a new secondary school in the area.

The information was revealed by the Ministry in response to questions about new schools for Waipā.

A meeting at Cambridge High next Wednesday will discuss plans for a new primary school in that town. The Ministry has purchased land in Cambridge west but has not identified the site.

Katrina Casey, Deputy Secretary Sector Enablement and Support, said Te Awamutu was not a growth area identified in the ministry’s growth plan “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,” she said.

Education Department figures over the last six years show while Te Awamutu College is growing, Ōtorohanga High has shed students.

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

According to the site Te Awamutu’s roll rose from 1142 to 1243 from 2016 to 2020 while Ōtorohanga’s total roll slipped from 382 to 292 in the same period.

Te Awamutu’s numbers jumped a further 121 at the start of this year whole Otorohanga continues to report it has 292 students.

The Ministry was working with Te Awamutu College to develop and implement an enrolment scheme. There are no plans for a new Waipā secondary school.

The Ministry says it plans to accommodate growth at the existing Cambridge High School site.

In Cambridge the two schools’ rolls rose from 2547 to 2820 from 2016 to 2020.

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.

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