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Week of 1 May 2017
Year 7 and 8 Community Survey - 2017
It is the job of the School Board to ensure that a quality education is provided for all.
As part of preparing the school for the new year it is good practice for a School Board to review the overall structuring, including teacher placement and resources available within a school.  During this annual review at the beginning of 2017 we identified the current Year 7 & 8 intermediate provision provided at GHS as a cause for concern.
The reasons for these concerns:
Over the last six years we have seen a dramatic decrease in the percentage of children staying on for our Year 7 and 8 programme compared to those who are leaving to attend Whangaparaoa College.  For example, in 2011 35% of the school roll (152 children) stayed on for Year 7 & 8 at GHS compared with 9% (38 children) in 2017.
As you may be aware, the provisions for an intermediate school require more resourcing than those in primary.  This is for the additional curriculum required. Unfortunately the Ministry does not provide adequate funding for these additional curriculum needs when the numbers of students are so low, meaning that we are not supporting educational growth to a consistent and  acceptable level in some areas of the curriculum, particularly technology and soft and hard tech.
Our findings have established that through the consistent decline in numbers at GHS the provision for the intermediate children is now at a detriment to the younger children within the school. For example, this year with 38 children we have had to form a mixed Year 6 /7 class to accommodate these numbers as there were not enough children to justify two intermediate teachers. Creating this class has been at the cost of an additional teacher as the Year 6 children could have been placed in already existing Year 5 and 6 classes.
As part of the GHS Boards in-depth inquiry into the feasibility of our Year 7 & 8 provision an analysis of the whole school roll growth v the decline in numbers in the intermediate cohort has been undertaken. Financials including operations grants, teachers salaries and the analysis of school income streams, including before and after school care and school donations has also been studied.
The Board has carefully reviewed all of the information available and raised the question of whether we can maintain a quality Year 7 & 8 program that will not negatively affect the resources available to our Year 1 to 6 children. After an in depth inquiry into the feasibility of our intermediate provision the Board is recommending that we look to phase out our Year 7 and 8 programme. Should this intermediate provision close we would look to develop a strategy to phase it out over a one to two year period.
Following further discussions with the Ministry, we would like to obtain community feedback on the potential closure of the year 7 & 8 provisions at GHS. We intend to hold a night to discuss with the whole community the future of the Year 7 & 8 programme in addition to seeking your feedback now.
If you have feedback on this, either for or against the school keeping the year 7 & 8, please email through to communityfeedback@ghs.school.nz by Monday 8th May.
We look forward to receiving your feedback.
GHS Board of Trustees