Kaipara College looks ahead

Kaipara College Principal Steve McCracken anticipates the value of refurbishing the school.

Recent television and newspaper articles discussing the new high school enrolment scheme beginning on 1 January 2020 reveal that compulsory zoning will shut some out of the opportunity to attend Kaipara College. This will not affect our local Community of Learning Kâhui Ako primary schools - Waitoki, Kaukapakapa, Waioneke, Woodhill, Helensville, Parakai and Waimauku - which remain in the catchment area. But students living in Riverhead, Kumeu and Huapai, who up until now have made up 20% of Kaipara College’s Year 9 intake, will have to go elsewhere.
While this is very disappointing for both the families concerned and for Kaipara College, given that the school has had a long-standing relationship with those areas and that the new enrolment scheme restricts the choices available to those not in the zone, in terms of Kaipara College’s growing roll it offers more breathing space. As Principal Steve McCracken explains, “We had over 250 appeals against the proposed enrolment scheme and it’s disappointing we weren’t heard, but on the other hand it is a way of the Ministry of Education making sure we control our own growth. At present, with 800 students we’re at capacity, and our numbers are set to increase rapidly even without the students who will now be forced to go elsewhere.”
The Ministry plan to eventually take the roll to 1350, although at this stage the Board of Trustees thinks the ideal roll for Kaipara College would be 1000 students. Meanwhile, plans are moving ahead for a $22 million build to include a new technology block with 14 classrooms, two extra science labs and a whare ako which includes a café available to the community. “We’re going to have a multimillion-dollar facility,” says Principal McCracken. “We’re very lucky to have such a beautiful site and what we must do is use it to serve the local community.”

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