A Brighter Future for Education in Wainuiomata
Wainuiomata has 14
state or state-integrated schools. The oldest of these was founded
in 1857. All of these schools have earned positive Education Review
Office reports in recent years and help our young people get a
The pamphlet goes on
In the 1950s and
'60s Wainuiomata grew very rapidly. Many schools were built to
accommodate this new growth. Over recent years, the numbers of young
people in Wainuiomata have been declining. In 1991 there were 3636
students in schools here. This year, 2001, there are 3127. It's
estimated that in 20 years time there will only be around 2000. The
way schools were designed in the 1960s won't provide the best fit
for the community of the future.
Wainuiomata were aware of the predicted drop in student numbers so
in the late 1990s they began to discuss ideas for the future. they
saw an opportunity to take a fresh look at what is important for the
community and to think about what schools could really offfer,
without being constrained by the existing number and type of
In 1999 the
principals asked the Ministry of Education to help this community
look at ideas. To achieve this, the Ministry engaged an independent
facilitator who worked with a local reference group. Up to the end
of 2000, 45 public meetings were held and a number of newspaper
articles appeared in local papers focusing on the question of
schooling in Wainuiomata.
round of consultation held this year, a number of options were
developed and further discussed and refined. The reference group
made recommendations to the Minister of Education on how they think
schooling should be shaped to best meet the needs of the community.
In light of their suggestions, the Minister has announced a proposal
for schooling in Wainuiomata in the future.
Schools and the public are now
invited to respond to the Minister's proposals.