Funding ensures Western Bay school‘s future

Matahui School principal Mary Woods is thrilled the school can remain open. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

A Western Bay school principal is ecstatic that its future is secure after facing closure earlier in the year.

Matahui School principal Mary Woods says everyone is very happy and relieved.

“We're all very excited that we've got a future.

“We've got a school to come back to next year. There's no more uncertainty.

“It's taken that worry away.”

In term two, the independent school announced it was struggling financially and facing closure at the end of term three if funds weren’t secured.

Low enrolment numbers and the knock-on effects of Covid-19, meant the school was struggling to maintain financial viability.

Parents and alumni raised enough money to keep the school going until the end of the year, while a plan was developed to keep the school open long term.

“Teaching and learning has been happening, but that has been just hanging over our heads.

“The uncertainty about being open next year.”

The school’s foundation trust has secured the sale of the land the school is on releasing additional funds and providing the school a lifeline, says Mary.

Matahui School will then lease the land off the new owner.

“We are all looking forward to working closely with all the stakeholders ensuring the future survival of Matahui School.”

Mary says they can now concentrate on the children’s learning and growing the school.

There are currently 38 students on the roll.

Matahui School, south of Katikati, is a not-for-profit organisation, with all fees received contributing to running and operation costs.

The school, for years 1-8, was started 32 years ago in response to one parent’s concern about her child’s wellbeing and education.

Mary says it is not a typical school, one of the differences is the small class sizes that ensure real relationships between students and teachers.

“We cater for individual needs through the multiple intelligences and we have our own curriculum, which is very project based.

“Our teaching style helps build self-esteem in our students and creates robust, emotionally intelligent children who can take the knocks in life.

“This was evident in the way our students handled themselves during this uncertain and challenging time.”

Mary and the school community is grateful for the support they have received.

“We have an amazing and supportive wider community who believe in our ethos and what Matahui School provides for their children, and so they came to our rescue.

“We owe this group a huge debt of gratitude and want them to know that they will be part of the Matahui story for future generations to come.”

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