An education expert says parents across the country should be worried about what the Government is planning for all schools in the wake of its education shake up in Christchurch.
Thirteen schools in the region are set to close and a further 18 are to be merged as part of a 10-year restoration plan for the wider Christchurch area.
The announcement came as a shock to principals, some of whom were reduced to tears as Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Education Minister Hekia Parata unveiled the plan on Thursday.
Nesta Devine from the AUT School of Education told TV ONE's Saturday Breakfast there is a growing distrust about the way the Government is dealing with the sector.
"There's a couple of things that are lurking in the back of your mind about this sort of thing, and I think most important is the suspicion that our Government uses crisis as a way of introducing ideological reforms," she said.
"Because the process has not been transparent these suspicions build up so maybe its about introducing charter schools, maybe its about getting rid of intermediate schools, in the absence of a transparent process its really hard to know what the process is.
"So people get paranoid, they get anxious, but just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't following you."
Teachers have clashed with the Government on several occasions in the past few months following recent proposals such as the closure of two special residential schools, the introduction of primary school league tables and changes to class sizes.
Devine said teachers were after some sign that Parata and the Education Ministry actually cared about them.
Parata said following the earthquake 4,500 students are no longer at any school in Christchurch, so this moves looks to address that issue, along with the movement of families to different areas following the quakes, and physical issues such as damaged buildings and geotechnical problems.
She said there will be consultation over the closures and mergers over the next few months before a final decision is made.