Legal opinion backs Salisbury School

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Salisbury School released a Russell McVeagh legal opinion on Thursday relating to the Minister of Education Hon Hekia Parata’s proposal to close Salisbury, and Halswell College’s application to become co-educational.

The school’s board sought the legal opinion from Russell McVeagh due to serious concerns about the inability of young people with complex intellectual disabilities and autism to access the support they need via the Ministry of Education’s Intensive Wraparound Service (IWS).

Salisbury School Board Chair John Kane says the legal opinion gives strong indication that the Ministry’s IWS policy could be discriminating against a group of high needs students under the terms of either the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act or the Human Rights Act, or both.

The Ministry of Education and the Minister of Education received the legal opinion on Tuesday this week, ahead of her decision regarding whether or not to make Halswell co-educational.