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Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith welcomes today’s announcement from Education Minister Hekia Parata that the Government is investing about $800,000 in new classrooms, one at Birchwood School and two at Stoke School.

 “There is strong population growth in Stoke and we need to ensure we match that with investment in our schools. Stoke and Birchwood are primary schools providing a good quality of education and these new teaching spaces will ensure this continues” Dr Smith says.

 “The roll at Stoke School has grown from 140 in 2008 to 260 this year. This roll increase reflects the broader growth in housing in Stoke, as well as the school being recognised as providing excellent education. The Government funding will enable the existing play centre to be purchased, upgraded and become the new entrants’ classroom space

 “The extra classroom at Birchwood School is also a reflection of the population growth in the area and a school which provides a strong programme of primary education.”

 The announcement is part of a second round of investments in new classrooms under Budget 2016, which provides $882.5 million for school property, including 480 classrooms nationwide to meet roll growth.

 “The right learning environment is crucial, as is the quality of teaching, in helping our kids achieves their potential. These classrooms will be flexible learning spaces that support an innovative learning environment.” Dr Smith says.

Both Birchwood and Stoke Schools are members of the Akonga Whakatu (Stoke) Community of Learning, along with five other schools in the Nelson electorate.  Communities of Learning see schools work together to lift student achievement.

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