The Minister of Education has approved an application by Auckland diocese to enter into integration negotiations for a proposed new Catholic year 7-13 secondary school in Drury in south Auckland.
It is understood that, should an integration negotiation be successfully concluded and the school be established, its name would be St Ignatius of Loyola College, and it could have a Jesuit charism.
The Ministry of Education is to begin a consultation process with relevant schools and institutions, alongside the negotiation process.
Consultation responses have to be submitted by mid-November this year.
In a letter to south Auckland Catholic primary principals and boards of trustees chairs, Auckland diocese vicar for education Linda McQuade said the diocese is delighted to have received the correspondence from the Minister.
This is because “it has been over 20 years since the establishment of a Catholic secondary school at Drury was first seen as an important addition to the network of Catholic secondary schools within Auckland diocese”.
The Drury-Karaka area has experienced strong population growth in recent years, and that trend is expected to continue. Work is underway to widen Auckland’s Southern Motorway to six lanes (three each way) down to the Papakura- Karaka interchange.
Ms McQuade’s letter noted that, as of July 1, 2018, 951 students from the
wider Franklin area were travelling each day to attend nine Catholic secondary schools in Auckland.
Ms McQuade noted that, at present, transport costs can be a barrier for access to Catholic secondary schools for families in south Auckland.
And most current Catholic secondary schools in south-east and central Auckland are already at capacity and can’t accept all Catholic applicants, she noted.
A new Catholic secondary school in the Drury area would, if approved, reduce the number of students leaving south Auckland to access Catholic education, and would also reduce non-productive time for students travelling to and from school, she wrote.
Having a Catholic secondary school closer to families would also make it easier for students to participate in other “co-curriculum” activities like sports, drama, music, cultural activities, homework centres and mentoring.