'Metro' schools: Smaller plot beats bad location - PPTA

Schools without fields could be coming to Auckland (Getty)
Schools without fields could be coming to Auckland (Getty)

Teacher numbers are a point of concern for the Post Primary Teacher's Association, as the Government floats an idea for 'metro' schools.

Education Minister Nikki Kaye floated the idea as a way to counter population growth, meaning new schools would lease a compact site and use community fields and gyms, rather than house their own fields and pools.

PPTA president Jack Boyle says he's not sure it's the right place to put money.

"We probably should look at the human resource, and think about have we've got that right, before we start piloting an economically driven model. I'm not saying don't do it, but I'm saying, where's your priority?"

There will be a need for an extra 17,000 new student places in the city by 2019. New schools already planned will accommodate 9000, with another five new schools and 188 classrooms taking in the rest.

"It's concerning if the premise is reducing costs to meet demand," says Mr Boyle, who admitted it does make sense in some ways.

"If you've got access to mental health services, a nurse, the local hall for your community to make use of, potentially that's a better way of planning than saying, 'Right - where's the cheapest bit of land that we can rent?'"

Ms Kaye says a similar model has proven successful at Christchurch's Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery school.


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