Board of trustees

Can a board close a school if there is an emergency?

A school board of trustees may at any time close a school it administers because of epidemic, flood, fire, or other emergency.

If satisfied that the closure was necessary, the Secretary for Education may reduce the number of half days that the school would otherwise have to be open.

Education and Training Act 2020, section 659 – Legislation website

Ministry role

Any school facing an emergency of any kind should contact their regional Ministry of Education office for assistance and advice, or the NZSTA helpdesk.

In a large emergency or Civil Defence event, such as the Christchurch earthquakes, the Ministry of Education plays a strong supporting and co-ordinating role. In that event, where many schools were too damaged to re-open, the Ministry worked with schools in a range of ways, including site-sharing, co-ordination with other agencies and providing good information to schools, parents and communities.

Emergencies and traumatic incidents – Ministry of Education

Updated: August 2020

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