Senior students across Auckland will be heading back to school next Tuesday – but at least one school has decided not to reopen just yet.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced yesterday that schools would reopen to Years 11, 12 and 13 from October 26, in light of the pressure older students face with assessments and upcoming exams.
But following the announcement, Takapuna Grammar School emailed parents to say they would be continuing with remote learning till at least the end of next week.
Reopening on Tuesday was “not practical nor necessary for TGS as an immediate option”, principal Mary Nixon wrote. She said the North Shore school already had a well-considered plan that was working.
Wednesday’s 1pm press conference contained “some ambiguous messages” so the school would provide further information once it was received. But meanwhile, till the end of next week, remote learning would continue and practice exams would stay online.
Practice exams had been carefully arranged by staff to suit students’ requirements. It was “untenable” to move them from online to in-person at this late stage.
However, workshops and International Baccalaureate exams, which were scheduled to be held on-site next week, would continue.
Nixon was unavailable for comment this afternoon but it’s understood the school has received positive feedback from parents on the decision.
However, at least one parent was unhappy with the move, saying it was a “kick in the guts” to hear first that their child could return before being told the reverse.
“The Government is doing the right thing by allowing senior students back to school so they can get prepared for exams, but the school seems to be thumbing their nose at the Government.
“All parents know how hard it is to hold down a job and home school kids for over two months; schools need to do all they can to help, not just shut the door.”
The Herald has asked the Ministry of Education to clarify whether schools are required to reopen to seniors, or if it’s optional.
Following Hipkins’ announcement yesterday, the Ministry of Education told schools the reopening of learning onsite was “critical” for students’ learning and was based on public health advice.