This follows from the decision of the Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, to support the proposal of the Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, Barry Jones, to cancel the integration agreements for Our Lady of Fatima and St Paul’s School. The recommendation was made after extensive consultation by the Bishop.
Both schools will close on 27 January 2016 ahead of the proposed opening of a new school on the Our Lady of Fatima site to meet the ongoing requirements of Catholic primary schooling in the St Francis of Assisi parish.
The move was initially prompted by the red-zoning of St Paul’s in Dallington.
“I want to see a new school that draws on the contributions of both Our Lady of Fatima School and St Paul’s School. This is a decision that will allow me to invest in the future of Catholic primary schooling in the Parish of Mairehau, ensuring the best use of our resources within a modern teaching and learning environment,” Bishop Jones said.
“I am applying to establish and integrate this new school to be located on the current Our Lady of Fatima School site. The new school would be operational from Term 1, 2016. I would like to achieve this in a collaborative way where both school communities contribute to the new parish school.”
The Ministry of Education staff will provide support to schools, staff and the community throughout the transition process.
The full text of Minister Parata’s letter to Bishop Jones and Bishop Jones’ letter to parents can be found on the Catholic Education Office’s website.