Waitaki Boys’ roll increases

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Despite having a difficult year in 2014, Waitaki Boys’ High School is set to open on Monday with a larger roll than last year.

It is expected just over 500 pupils will attend the school this year, well up on the number that finished the year in 2014.

Commissioner Nicola Hornsey, who was appointed in October to run the school after the board of trustees was disbanded, said it was pleasing to have the pupil numbers increasing.

“It’s great to see that people are not letting what’s gone on affect their decision to send their children where they’d like to go.”

So far about 90 boarders have confirmed they will be staying at the hostel for 2015, with the number of new entrants similar to last year.

Ms Hornsey said the positivity around the hostel was pleasing.

“It’s great to see people still wanting to send their children to the school. It’s exactly what we are wanting.”

Various things still needed to be addressed by the school, but Ms Hornsey was pleased with the progress so far.

“I always have goals set and like to make a difference, and although I’ve only been there a short time, I feel improvements are being made by teachers and pupils.”

She is not at the school again until next Thursday, but expects pupil and staff relationships to be fine.

Waitaki Boys’ High School had been looking at building a new hostel to help attract pupils from outside the region to the school. However, this was now on hold.

“At this stage those plans have been put on hold as we have to wait until the Ministry of Education pick a new board, and once that is done then potentially we can re-open the proposal for a new hostel. All the plans are there – it’s just been placed on hold.”

It is up to the Ministry of Education when the school can look to move on or begin to make some changes.

With no set date for the election of a new board of trustees, it could be some time before the proposal could be looked into again.

Academically, pupils had excelled, with both juniors and seniors performing very well in their Cambridge and NCEA exams, Ms Hornsey said.

She was extremely happy with the quality of teaching.

The school is looking for a new assistant principal after a senior member of staff resigned at the end of last year.

“We are incredibly pleased with the amount of applicants that have applied for the role and it shows that what’s happened is having no effect on teachers and they still want to relocate here.”

Ms Hornsey is part of the selection panel that will help pick the new assistant principal.

An announcement on the appointment should be made in late next month.

By Brayden Lindsay