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here is one primary school in the Raetihi township. However,

"Some kids from here go to Orautoha and some go to Ohakune because they see that they are better schools, probably."
"We have the issue where once upon a time Raetihi was known as "the school" and everyone came here."
"It goes Ohakune, Raetihi, Ohakune, Raetihi."
"But everyone's going to Ohakune at the moment. Ten years ago it was the opposite. "
"The school roll is low for Raetihi but it is building again."
"I've put my boy there and I couldn't fault it at anything. You've got a lot of the old Aunties that are there that are sorting it out. They're getting on top of it. It's improving. The reputation's improving."
"I have a kid that goes to Ohakune, so I can see both sides."

Following on from primary school, children from Raetihi often went to high school at Ruapehu College in Ohakune, or, much like elsewhere in the District, those that could afford it often went away to boarding school.

"They will go boarding. A lot go boarding. Palmerston, Whanganui. Probably most."
"It’s pretty small the college here."
"That’s if they can afford it. It’s affordability."
"Once again, they perceive that Ruapehu College is not a good place to send their kids. It’s the old story that people want to their kids to have opportunities. But there are some people who have gone to Ruapehu College that have done really well. Cream rises to the top."
"My children did really well at that school. There’s, you know, the ones that can’t afford boarding school are the ones sending their kids there, so there is quite a lot of poverty and sometimes not a lot of interest in learning. So often it's the kids who aren't interested in learning, even the few that aren't interested in learning get all the teachers attention."

Whilst Ruapehu College was generally well-regarded, some had concerns that it did not cater well for those children who may wish to attend tertiary education after high school. This was a change from 2020 where it was considered that a reasonable number of young people did go on to university.

"My biggest concern would be education for my kids. I've got a child getting close to high school age. And there's not a great percentage of children that go on to tertiary from high school here. Whether they even are striving at times. Sometimes I get the feeling that they're just trying to create little workers for the you know, forestry, farming and so on. Which is fine, there's room for that. Not every child has to go to university but you, you'd want to see a good percentage moving on."

There were post-high school programmes in the community which helped young people transition from high school to further study or work:

"There is Rangatahi Whakahoki which is taking on children that, helping those children move on and helping them get those life lessons that they don't get anymore. Work experience, trades. Teaching them life lessons, what we got taught. Bringing that back. There's a lot of people that don't have that anymore. Getting out and helping the community. They are good kids, they just, a lot of people just want somebody..... Back in the day when I was at college you go and try different things, work experience. There's none of that anymore so that's what they're trying to do. So they can have the choice of going to Uni, or UCol. A lot of people don't want to move away. Or can't move away from home, so they are trying to help people to study from here. Trying to help these kids."

Participants felt that it was very difficult to obtain support, especially at high school, for local children who had additional or complex needs.

"It’s a huge, huge, huge struggle for someone I know. To get services, the school services. He was able to get help at primary school, but when he moved on to the college, they don’t have anybody. They can’t recruit anyone, there’s no one available."
"There is what they term, a term I don’t really like, but “trauma children” when they come from families with domestic violence, the rest of it. It’s, we expect too much from our teachers to teach a classroom full of children with… those issues like that. The more, social… behavioural issues. It’s a struggle to actually get a teacher and then get a teacher that wants to deal with that stuff. "

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