Govt considers closing Nelson special needs school

Govt considers closing Nelson special needs school

The future of a special needs residential school for girls in Nelson is on the line, with the Government entering consultation because of a falling roll.

Salisbury School's roll has fallen from 72 since 2011 to nine, which Education Minister Hekia Parata says pushes the cost of education per student to $214,909.

"The Nelson boarding school has a long history of educating girls with high and complex needs, but the successful implementation of the Intensive Wraparound Service (IWS) has reduced the demand for residential schooling," she says.

She says the average cost through IWS is $27,000 and the Government now needs to think about the "most effective use" of resources for students with complex needs.

The minister is also considering an application to make Halswell Residential College in Christchurch fully co-educational.

She says the decision on that could influence the final decision on Salisbury School which is why consultation is starting at the same time.

If the ultimate decision is to close Salisbury, Ms Parata says the ministry will work with affected families on the what to do next for the students.

Consultation on Halswell will close on July 15 and on August 12 for Salisbury.

If the latter is closed, the board will be able to make try and convince Ms Parata to keep the school open.

The proposed closure date is on January 27.