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Marsden Whitby School parents excited by new partnership to buy the school

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Parents of Samuel Marsden School Whitby are partnering with John Fiso and the Fiso Group which would enable the school to remain open and position it for future growth.

Parent action group spokesperson Tim Green says the surprise announcement by Samuel Marsden Collegiate School’s Karori based Trust Board two weeks ago that it would close its Whitby campus at the end of this year had left the community shocked and reeling.

"We all know this school is a success story" says Mr Green "and following public pressure the Board subsequently opened the opportunity for an entity backed by Marsden Whitby parents to negotiate the purchase of the school."

Mr Green says John Fiso is highly respected with an excellent track record in education. He founded the New Zealand Institute of Sport (NZIS), a three tier education institute with both foundation, vocational and graduate programmes with strong national and international links. NZIS started with 18 students in Porirua and grew to qualifying over 1000 students annually across multiple campus sites across the country.

Mr Fiso has served as Chairman of the Independent Tertiary Education Providers of NZ (ITENZ) and on the boards of the Pacific Co-operation Foundation, Ako Aotearoa, Volleyball NZ and the Pacific Business Trust. He was awarded the NZ Order of Merit for services to sport, education and the Pasifika community. He was named Wellingtonian of the Year for services to education in 2016.

"We’re confident that an active partnership with Mr Fiso will enable the school to continue as a centre of excellence, open to all, with a unique combination of a smaller learning environment, a culture of nurturing people from all walks of life, high academic success, a dedicated and caring teaching team and scholarships to enable a wide range of students to attend. Mr Fiso’s leadership, working alongside students, teachers and parents, will be great for the future of this school." says Mr Green.

"The student roll has been increasing for the last 14 years and, located in one of the fastest growing growth corridors in the country with major new and existing residential developments in the region and Transmission Gully being completed next year, the school is well positioned for further growth. This partnership will enable us to secure that bright future for the school community."

"I take great confidence in the collective will of the parents, students and wider community to ensure high quality education focused on excellence remains in Whitby" says Mr Fiso. "I look forward to the opportunity of building on the success of the current Whitby campus and ensure students realise their full potential in an increasingly diverse and changing world."

Mr Green says any agreement between John Fiso, the Fiso Group and Marsden School will be subject to all regulatory approvals, satisfactory due diligence and agreed transition plans. "We are looking forward to positive negotiations with the Samuel Marsden Trust Board that will provide a win win outcome for our school and the Trust Board."

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