Staffroom turns classroom as Auckland school's roll skyrockets

18:00 pm on 2 October 2020

An Auckland school which is bursting at the seams has had to transform its boardroom, staff room, principal's office and library into classrooms to make space for its skyrocketing roll.

Ormiston Primary School - in the city's South East - is only five-years-old and is right in the heart of one of the fastest growth areas in Auckland.

In fact, it's growing so fast that by the end of the year they expect to have 1000 students in a school made for just over 700. 

About 40 percent of New Zealand schools have less than 100 students - they've been getting more than 300 new students every year, for the past three years.

Principal Heath McNeill said the Ministry for Education projected in 2015 that the school would reach capacity in 2028 - it's passed that timeline eight years early.

He said requests to the Ministry for help had resulted in some modular classrooms arriving - but they needed permanent ones, and fast.

Board of Trustees chair Russell Thomas said it had been a long and frustrating wait, with requests for help dating back two years.

"We knew then that we had a capacity of 720 and we knew that we were going to fast get to that point - we're now two years down the line, nothing's been signed off."

One of eight new schools built in Flat Bush, Auckland in the past eight years. Photo: RNZ/John Gerritsen


In a statement, the Ministry for Education said it had been working with Ormiston Primary school to address its significant roll growth.

"We are currently in the process of delivering six new modular classrooms, and an additional four modular classrooms will be delivered and operational from Term 2, 2021. The ten new modular classrooms will meet the school's immediate need for more teaching and learning capacity in a safe, healthy and high-quality learning environment. "

Today the National Party offered a lifeline - promising to build more classrooms at Ormistion if elected, as part of a $2.8 billion spend on new classrooms and schools.