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Minister Waiting For Education Ministry Report On School

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Anne Tolley
Anne Tolley

Wellington, Sept 10 NZPA - The Education Ministry is urgently looking into conditions at a dilapidated and unsafe school in south Auckland, says Education Minister Anne Tolley.

She said she was waiting for the ministry's report and would not comment on whether Felix Donnelly College, a special state school for youngsters in Child, Youth and Family care, would be closed or not.

"I know the ministry has been to have a visit and they are getting their reports urgently," she told reporters.

"We want to make sure they (the children) get a safe, good, educational outcome environment and I am determined to see that that happens for those children."

Children's Commissioner John Angus recently said dilapidated conditions were failing at-risk children.

"What are we saying to (these children) if we tolerate their being in extremely dilapidated and, in some cases, unsafe school buildings?"

The school runs classes on six different sites with a roll in May of 56.

Documents released to the Sunday Star-Times under the Official Information Act showed auditors found serious health and safety problems at three of the school's sites and that school management had concerns about the other three.

They also showed that the ministry took more than two years to move students from the most dangerous site, in Tuakau, into temporary buildings.

Some of the buildings had no heating, hot water or smoke alarms but children were left there for years despite damning Education Review Office reports and repeated pleas for action from staff.

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