Thursday, 21 March 2019


MBAS roll reaches 1,000 students

At the commencement of school term 3 last week, Mercury Bay Area School reached a new milestone last week with more than 1,000 students enrolled in the school for the very first time.

MBAS school principal, John Wright attributes the growth in the school roll to an enlarging community and says the number of students was not unexpected. “We have predicted this level of roll growth for many years,” says John. “We have top quality information from the early childhood centres in Mercury Bay, informing us about the new kids who will be joining our school. We also have information that comes to us progressively during the year that more families are shifting into Whitianga.

"There is a large number of students and their families leaving mercury Bay every year, however, undeniably, there is strong, progressive and relentless growth in our community, which is consistently reflected in our school roll.

“This year alone we have had over 200 new student join us."

Within the school there are 420 students in the primary years, 380 in the middle years, and approximately 200 in the senior years. John believes the roll will peak at 1,030 for this year and in the following two years he predicts it will continue to grow by about another 20 - 30 students each year. “These are the predictive numbers we have at hand, but no one can know the future,” John says.

Although reaching 1,000 students on the school roll is an exciting achievement, the school does not quite have the infrastructure for this numbers of students. “Officially we have property for 915 students, and we have over 1000 Kiwi kids on site,” says John. “There are areas of infrastructure we are well behind in, for example, our library, staff workroom and facilities and administration spaces. Our technologies block in our middle and senior years is also a little behind. There is much more that needs to be done to help us in this regard - both in the immediate situation and into the future.”

Staffing is not a concern at MBAS. “Our staffing is assured,” says John. “As always, we are after top quality staff, teaching and support staff, to ensure we deliver what our community expects and what we know our young people deserve. We do our best to provide this in environments that honour and enable our staff to deliver and our student to learn at their very best.”

The school is starting to consider zoning as a means of more effectively managing roll growth and also to obtain higher levels of infrastructure funding from the Ministry of Education. “Our proposed enrolment zone will help support some stability in our school roll and the rolls of other local schools into the next five years or so,” says John. We will need to wait and see what happens within Mercury Bay in this time.

"I believe that there will always be an area school on our current campus, but I can see that there will be another Year 1 - 8 school in our community in due course.

A comprehensive feature about a school zone at MBAS will be in next week’s Informer.



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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.