There's a big stink brewing in Whanganui, and it's not coming from the sewerage plant. Wanganui Collegiate opens its doors to students this week as a state school, after the government nationalised it last year.
While Parata has been red stickering schools in Christchurch, and merging them into unfathomable (and sometimes illegal) clusters, she has bailed out a failing private school in a region with 1407 empty student seats. The government has already thrown millions of dollars at the formerly private high school. News today shows that the decision to bail out the school went against Treasury and Ministry of Education advice. It's not often these people agree with John Minto.
The gross oversupply of high schools places in Whanganui is only getting larger, implying that some other state schools in the area will be liable for the chop. Nor is the buy-out of Collegiate addressing that fat tail of under-achievement that National Standards was brought in to allegedly address.
There's no logic to it. The decision is 100% political, and therefore 100% vulnerable. Good hunting.