Decision on future of Nelson school for vulnerable girls won't be decided before election

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The future of a special needs school for girls near Nelson will not be decided before next month's election, it's been confirmed to 1 NEWS.

Salisbury School has been a residential girls school for over 100 years, with a steadily declining role.
Source: 1 NEWS

Salisbury School, a residential school in Richmond near Nelson, has been in limbo ever since former Education Minister Hekia Parata indicated in June 2015 it may have to close its doors for good. 

That decision was delayed, and then handed over to her replacement, Nikki Kaye, who has now informed the school’s board chair and relieving principal she will not be making a decision on the school’s future before the September election.

The current consultation period on the potential school closure is still in place, and Ms Kaye has told the school if a closure goes ahead, it would not be until at least the end of term two next year.

In a letter to Board of Trustees chair John Kane, the Minister said she "wanted to ensure any decision was soundly based and took into account the Trustee’s views. I am not yet in a position to make a final decision and I have asked my officials to explore possible options, including those you have suggested."

Mr Kane welcomed the opportunity to work with the Ministry on potential options for the school’s future.

"The board of trustees, school staff and all our supporters have tirelessly held our ground about the importance of single sex residential special schooling in New Zealand and finally we are being heard by this Government," he said.

Mr Kane acknowledged Ms Kaye’s decision in no way guaranteed the school’s future, and says the school intends to keep open the option of Human Rights Commission proceedings.

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