Current Consultation

Minister of Education proposes Salisbury is to close and commences consultation

In June, Education Minister Hon Hekia Parata commenced consultation on her proposal to close Salisbury School at the end of the year. She attempted the school’s closure in 2012 but ultimately lost in the High Court. Salisbury remained open.

Since 2012, the Education Ministry has been managing down the school’s roll after it implemented the Intensive Wrap-around Service (IWS) within which Salisbury was placed. The school had up to 80 students in the years leading up to 2012 and now has only ten students, thanks to the sinking lid applied by IWS. Despite the school’s efforts to work positively with the Ministry and provide solutions, Salisbury has, as a self-governing school no legal control over its enrolment process and the Ministry's IWS enrolment criteria discriminates against the students who Salisbury has traditionally provided for. So now, citing the low roll (her own Ministry has managed down), the Minister wants the school closed.

In July, the Salisbury School Board sought legal advice from Russell McVeagh. This advice was provided to the Ministry of Education and Minister of Education on Tuesday 26th July.

On Wednesday 27th July the Hon Hekia Parata announced that Halswell College would go co-educational at the beginning of the 2017 school year. Click here to read our submission on Halswell’s proposal to go co-educational.

How you can help

  • Join the online petition and add your comments. Go to and put Salisbury in the search box and press Enter. Scroll down to find the petition “Keep Salisbury School open to girls with the most needs the choice they deserve”.
  • Contact the school on with the contact details of
    • families or professionals who have tried but failed to get a student into the IWS, and/or
    • psychologists who can speak about behavioural conduct disorder, autism and intellectual disabilities.

By the 12th August:

  • Make a submission with your views on the Minister’s proposal to close Salisbury School at the end of this year. These can be quite brief.

    Submissions are to be addressed to the Minister of Education, Hon Hekia Parata and sent to Dr David Wales, National Director Special Education, Ministry of Education, PO Box 1666, Wellington 6140 or to  Please also email a copy to, letting us know if you would like it put on our website or not.

Before end of August:

  • Write to or meet with your local Member of Parliament, so they understand the importance of Salisbury as a national residential special school for your community. You will need to have a relevant local story for this, such as knowing a family who has been trying to go to Salisbury, or are one, or know young people who have benefited from going to Salisbury.


You also may wish to make a donation to assist us to cover costs of external advice and support. Every little bit will help!

You can donate via our Givealittle page

Supporters’ Submissions

The following are some of the supporting submissions that have been sent to the Minister of Education this month. If you have written a submission and would like it to also be shown on this website please email