Schools welcome year 9 roll growth

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Year 9 rolls at both of Oamaru’s single-sex schools are up on previous years, which school leaders believe is encouraging for the town and the wider district.
This year, there are 97 boys, including eight hostel pupils, enrolled in year 9 at Waitaki Boys’ High School.
At Waitaki Girls’, there are 102 year 9 pupils, including six hostel pupils.
In total, Waitaki Boys’ has a roll of 480, far greater than the 417 the Ministry of Education expected to attend the school this year, while there are 420 pupils at Waitaki Girls’.
Waitaki Boys’ acting rector Clive Rennie said year 9 pupils had helped grow the school’s roll in 2016 and numbers were up compared with last year.
“One of the groups that is contributing to that is the year 9s. So, despite where things have been, we still seem to have good support from the community.”Mr Rennie said it was vital public confidence was restored in the school. That confidence was shaken when the school’s Board of Trustees was stood down in October 2014 and a commissioner, Nicola Hornsey, was appointed.
He believed the best way to restore confidence was to attract year 9 pupils to the school.
“Parents have elected to send their children out of Oamaru. That’s an unfortunate thing. Hopefully, we can restore their confidence and encourage people to come back.
“I would encourage people to look at what happens here. I’m quite sure we’ll pick up, get on with the job we’re here to do, which is look after the boys, and that hopefully parents will see that and perhaps change their mind about where they want their sons to go to school.”Waitaki Girls’ principal Tracy Walker said the numbers in year 9 “ebb and flow”, but they were up this year on the previous two years, which she described as “encouraging”.
“We’ve done a bit of work on transition visits (for year 8s), opening up so they can come in and have a hands-on try before they actually come.
“Every year 8 girl in the district had the opportunity to come in and spend a couple of hours here. I think that’s certainly helped out, as well.’om19schoolrolls1