Today’s Christchurch City Council altered an earlier resolution to enable the Spreydon/Heathcote Community Board the opportunity to use its discretionary funding to support schools to access programmes at the South Learning Centre.
In June, Council made a decision to underwrite until the end of the 2007 academic year the funding of the Centre to allow the 23 south Christchurch schools which used the Centre to continue to deliver their programmes while alternative sustained funding was sourced.
Late last month, the Community Board recommended it commit up to $50,000 – effectively the board’s entire 2008/09 allocation of discretionary and strengthening community action plan (SCAP) funds – to the South Learning Centre. This was inconsistent with Council’s existing resolution.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says while Council places considerable importance on the value of the South Learning Centre to our community, it has also made it clear that it does not see funding school-based education programmes as a role of local government.
"Today’s resolution enables the community board to reconsider its recommendation and explore the options to support school access to these innovative learning programmes. Council has recognised the important role the Centre plays in providing life-long learning opportunities for schools in the Spreydon/Heathcote area and its value to the community."
He says Council will also continue to explore other long-term sustainable options for the Centre, such as the formation of a trust, while also supporting work by staff to ensure schools have access to the programmes on a user-pays basis.