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Renewed hope for Christchurch primary school

There's renewed hope in the Christchurch suburb of Redcliffs that its primary school could stay put.

The school’s been earmarked for closure by the Education Minister, but the timeframe to contest has been extended. Source: 1 NEWS

The school's been earmarked for closure by Education Minister Hekia Parata, but the timeframe to contest that was extended this week.

And today, thousands turned out to support the school - children, parents, friends and pets - in a show of unity.

"It's at the heart of the community, we need it. We've been through enough, we need our school," mother Victoria Stoneman said.

When news broke last month that it was set to go families and staff were left devastated.

Staff and pupils have been off-site at Van Asch College for four years and are determined to return.

When the quakes started coming the cliff behind the school started crumbling and a barrier went up. The Government says any more big shakes would be too disruptive.

However, parent Darren Fiddler said: "They're going to be building houses between the school and the rocks, so why would we be worried about that?"

A geotechnical report commissioned by the Education Ministry says most of the school could be made safe - and that rockfall could be mitigated by reducing the site and building a mechanical earth bund.

"But they also say that the cliff continues to be unstable, that there will be further rockfalls," Ms Parata said.

Ms Parata says she just wanted "the best outcome for Redcliffs School".

It's not just parents and staff on the bandwagon - the Christchurch City Council has offered its support too.

But for the next two months, at the very least, school remains out.