Education Minister Chris Hipkins released a statement today confirming the decision to close Auckland’s Hato Petera College.

Mr Hipkins says that “despite all efforts to find a way of keeping the school going, the reality is that it is no longer able to provide a quality of education”.

“The cancellation of the integration agreement for Hato Petera is in mutual agreement with the Proprietor, the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Auckland.

“Closing schools is never an easy decision. But the roll has fluctuated between 1 and 5 this year, down from around 20 last year and just under 50 in 2016, and there are limited opportunities for the students to have social interaction with peers. The classroom environment is lonely despite the best intentions of the staff.”

The school was established in 1928 and a commissioner took over the school in January in a bid to turn it around after years of falling student numbers and governance problems.

Forty-three submissions from former students, whānau and staff for the school to remain open were received.