Saturday, July 20, 2024

Macleans implement enrolment restrictions amid in-fill housing increase

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Macleans College is a co-educational high school in Eastern Beach.

Macleans College is being forced to place restrictions on their enrolment applications for 2024, due to an increase of in-fill housing in the area.

The east Auckland school says it is likely there will be no places available in 2024 for siblings or children of former Macleans students and children of employees or members of the board of the school that live out-of-zone.

Macleans College principal Steven Hargreaves says he can understand families being concerned that their plan to enrol at Macleans is now in doubt.

“We have been fortunate in the past that we have been able to accommodate a number of out-of-zone students such as children of past students, and students with a sibling who previously attended Macleans. However, we are now operating beyond capacity and still enrolling a steady stream of new students who have moved in-zone and are legally entitled to attend,” he says.

Enrolment applications for past siblings, children of past students and children of school employees will go into a ballot that will be drawn in September this year.

The school does expect, however, that all siblings of current students that live out-of-zone will have an enrolment place in 2024.

In an email sent to the Macleans College community, Hargreaves said the school has approximately 100 more in-zone students on their roll than this time last year.

Principal of Macleans College Steven Hargreaves says he can understand that families will be concerned that their plan to enrol at Macleans is in doubt.

“The huge amount of in-fill housing and the loosening of immigration settings has seen student numbers balloon,” Hargreaves says.

The college said it is currently operating beyond what is deemed “100 per cent capacity” for the Ministry of Education-provided classroom spaces on campus.

But solving the problem is not as simple as building more classrooms.

“The Ministry of Education only provides classrooms for in-zone students and does not allow schools to build classrooms for out-of-zone students. They want students to attend their local school.

“The Ministry of Education determines the priority in which a school can enrol students. In-zone students take top priority, followed by out-of-zone students who have a sibling currently attending,“ says Hargreaves.

International students are treated somewhat separately from local students in that they fund their own classroom space and teachers.

“We have used international student funds to build classrooms to ensure no in-zone domestic student is denied a place at Macleans College due to insufficient classroom space,” says Hargreaves.

Residents in the Macleans area are also infuriated at the rate of which new houses are going up.

“Every street in the Macleans zone is getting four houses to a site and the developers don’t care they just want to make money,” a resident said in an email to the Times.

“If they build four tiny four-bedroom homes on a 900 square metre property, that’s four families and at least a dozen more kids on the Macleans College roll.

“Developers know that they can easily sell their new-builds in the Macleans zone because the school is the best, but they are the ones slowly destroying the quality of the school due to overcrowding.”

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