Christchurch schools

As a result of the earthquakes in Christchurch, many families in the residential red zones have moved. Red zones are those areas where the land has been badly damaged by the earthquakes and the houses will be demolished after July. There have been big changes to school rolls. Schools in or near red zones have lost students. Many families have already moved outside the city, south, north or west.

First, the Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, announced that the government will build five new schools in Canterbury, outside Christchurch, in those areas where families have moved to.

Next is the problem of closing schools in Christchurch. Last September, the Minister said that 31 schools would close or merge with another school.

Listen to September 17th 2012 to hear more about this.

Teachers and parents were very upset at this news. They were given a chance to write to the Minister and explain why their school should stay open. Yesterday the Minister said she has listened to what teachers and parents were saying and she has changed her mind about some schools. Twelve of those schools will stay open. Seven will close and 12 will merge together.

Some principals and teachers will lose their jobs, and many children will have to travel further to another school.


• residential – where people live
• zone – area
• demolish – destroy, push down
• school roll – list of students, number of students
• merge – join together
• upset – very unhappy


Note use of present perfect tense (have moved) to show an action that started in the past and is true today.


Does it matter if children have to change schools?

One Comments

  1. Yes, it does. Most of the children are used to their own school environment. The changing area will damage the children’s feeling. And they need the time to adapt to the new situation.

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