Stop the Proposed Selwyn College Zone sign now
Rallying support against the segregation of a community via the exclusion of Glen Innes and Point England.
Over the past 6 years Selwyn College has had a growth in attendance, NCEA results and a larger focus on academic subjects. However, there has also been growing concern amongst the alumni of this school in terms of Selwyn’s transition into an institution that is lowering its tolerance to diversity. Those in charge at Selwyn College are attempting to construct a school that members of higher socio-economic class would be happy to send their children to.
While this shift towards gaining approval from this particular community is improving the reputation of the school for the prospective parents of attending students, it is at the expense of the school accepting and catering for the more underprivileged students in their local geographical area, particularly Glen Innes and Point England but also out to Panmure.
This petition has been organized to demonstrate the overwhelming dissatisfaction with the proposed Selwyn zone. With this new zone the Ministry of Education and Selwyn’s Board of Trustees have defined and developed a boundary which excludes the nearby neighborhoods of Glen Innes and Point England. For the last three decades these two neighborhoods have contributed largely to Selwyn’s enrolment and its celebrated cultural diversity. This proposed zone denies the community its right to access what is rightfully theirs.
While Glen Innes and Point England have been excluded the residents of Remuera and Ellerslie have been awarded the right to attend the school despite lacking geographic proximity. It is difficult to ignore that this proposed zone fails to cater to prospective students of a lower socio-economic background. While neglecting these local students the proposed zones provides more ample opportunities to an upper/middle class community that is already spoilt for choice in terms of prospective schools in their area.
In a recent interview in East and Bays Courier, Sheryl Ofner, the principal of Selwyn College, has stated that “[the] proposal is a very, very fair zone. It captures our community well.” This petition aims to contest this point. By excluding both Glen Innes and Point England, the Ministry of Education and school’s board of trusties are actively betraying the rich and diverse cultural tradition of Selwyn College. The shift in the types of people that could be deemed Selwyn’s ‘community’ are shifting from including the hundreds of past students who lived around the areas of Glen Innes, Point England and stretching to Panmure into shifting its demographic so that a large majority of students would be from the Remuera and Meadowbank area.
Furthermore with this proposed zone the school will ultimately fail in achieving its function- which is to provide opportunities for the youth in its surrounding community. It will also lose its warm acceptance and tolerance of its multitudes of students ranging across religions, race, subcultures and academic aptitudes, a set of values which have been depleting since the implementation of strict new policies over the last 6 years.
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