Case Studies in Consultation Failure on School Closures by the NSW Department of Education

The report by the NSW Legislative Council Select Committee on the closure of public schools in NSW is a damning exposure of the failure of the NSW Department of Education to seriously consult about proposed closures. The report includes the following three case studies.

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NSW Govt Conducted a War Against Small Rural Schools

The NSW Legislative Council report on the closure of public schools shows that the Department of Education conducted a war against small rural schools. Some 36 public schools have been closed under the Baird Government.

The following is a media release on the report by NSW Greens MP, John Kaye.

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Submission to NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into the Closure of Public Schools in New South Wales

The arguments for closing and amalgamating schools are based primarily on two presumed benefits: financial savings and better student achievement. However, these claims generally turn out to be over-simplifications when the full evidence is analysed.

In considering potential closure of schools, governments should carefully analyse the educational, financial and social impact on students, their families and the general school community. Governments frequently fail to fully investigate these impacts before closing schools.

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Media Release: Funding for Public Schools Down, Funding for Private Schools Up

New figures show that, adjusted for inflation, government funding for private schools has increased since 2009, while funding for public schools has been cut. National Convenor of Save Our Schools, Trevor Cobbold, said that the new figures reveal the disastrous state of funding for public schools.

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P-TECH Schools Are Unproven and Threaten Public Education

Save Our Schools today called for public consultation and scrutiny of the P-TECH schools proposed for Ballarat and Geelong and sponsored by the giant IT multinational IBM. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that P-TECH schools are unproven and threaten public education.

Continue reading “P-TECH Schools Are Unproven and Threaten Public Education”

P-TECH Schools Are Unproven and Threaten Public Education

Save Our Schools today called for public consultation and scrutiny of the P-TECH schools proposed for Ballarat and Geelong and sponsored by the giant IT multinational IBM. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that P-TECH schools are unproven and threaten public education. Continue reading “P-TECH Schools Are Unproven and Threaten Public Education”

A Teacher’s Comment on NAPLAN

Earlier this week the ABC’s Life Matters program ran a segment on parents taking their children out of the NAPLAN tests. It generated considerable discussion. A listener who is a teacher sent SOS this response to the program.

School leaders and systems do use NAPLAN and recognise NAPLAN because it has now become the universal measure across the country because of its official status as a measure and not because it is valuable per se. It would be a concern if teachers relied on NAPLAN as a diagnostic tool and only relied on NAPLAN given the time lag between the test and the results. Good teachers are constantly assessing students in a number of ways but do not rely on a single standardised test but involve students in continual modes of improvement. Testing is not part of life, it is part of school life. How often does anyone who goes to work have to sit an exam to prove that they are learning, that they are doing their job, and demonstrating all they know in an hour or two? We would say as adults that would be unreasonable. Performance evaluation at work relies on continuous practice. Continue reading “A Teacher’s Comment on NAPLAN”

How Good is My School?

It is a sad fact, but true, that in Australia a student’s background greatly influences how well they will do at school. Whether their parents went to university, work as professionals, or whether they live in a rural area or are indigenous, all help to predict a student’s performance. And more so in Australia than in many other countries. Continue reading “How Good is My School?”

Andrews Govt Is On a ‘Unity Ticket’ With Abbott & Pyne

Save Our Schools today accused the Andrews Government of signing the death certificate for the Gonski school funding plan in Victoria. SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the Labor Government has betrayed the needs of disadvantaged students and schools in Victoria by refusing to deliver the last two years of Gonski funding. Continue reading “Andrews Govt Is On a ‘Unity Ticket’ With Abbott & Pyne”