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Schools after Canterbury Earthquake

( Education Minister Anne Tolley has asked parents to be patient as schools and ECE services recover from last weekend’s earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.

“Circumstances continue to change and we need to take account of this,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Civil Defence, which has the legal right to close schools, has indicated that some schools might open tomorrow.

“So far today the Ministry of Education has contacted 100 of the 165 state and state-integrated schools in the affected areas. No school has said it intends opening for students tomorrow, though many are likely to open for teachers and staff.

“A large number of schools have indicated that they don’t intend opening for students until Monday.

“Schools have been asked to let the Ministry know when they intend opening for students, and the Ministry will publish the names on its website at as soon as they have the information.

“The first step in this process is to make sure that school buildings are structurally sound and safe for use.

“Only then can Boards of Trustees make health and safety decisions, clean up, and prepare for lessons to make sure schools are ready to operate for students.

“We want to get schools and ECE services open as soon as possible, and the Ministry has a management plan in place to do this, but our main consideration must be the safety of students and staff.”

Parents should visit the Ministry of Education’s website at for updates on which schools are planning to open. This information is subject to change and families should also check with their school or Board of Trustees.

The website has information and guidance for schools, and there is an emergency call centre to provide ongoing advice to boards and principals on 0800 225580.

Media Release 8 September 2010 from Anne Tolley, Minister of Education.



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