Longer Student Suspensions are Ineffective

The ACT Government and the Liberal Opposition want to give principals in government and Catholic schools discretion to suspend students for longer without higher level approval. They ignore extensive research evidence that longer suspensions are ineffective and counter-productive.

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Save Our Schools Calls for Major Effort to Reduce the Achievement Gap in ACT Schools

Representatives of Save Our Schools have told an inquiry into the achievement gap in ACT schools that there is a large difference in school results between students from high and low income families. They told the Education Committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly that the gap is large by national and international standards and it will require a major funding effort to remove.

A statement presented at a hearing of the Committee by Trevor Cobbold and Professor Ian Morgan says that the achievement gap between students from low and high socio-economic status (SES) families is the largest in Australia, apart from the Northern Territory. Low SES students are about 2½ years of schooling behind their high SES peers on average.

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Flynn considers further action on school closures

Following the scathing findings of the School Closure Inquiry, the Flynn Primary School Parents and Citizens Association is calling on the Greens to stand up for communities in the upcoming sittings of the Assembly, by supporting the re-opening of Flynn, Hall, Tharwa and Cook schools. Continue reading “Flynn considers further action on school closures”

Broader Consultation Needed on the Future of the CIT Weston Site

Save Our Schools has made a submission to the community consultation on the ACT Government’s proposal to re-locate the Islamic School to the CIT Weston site. The submission says that the site, as a publicly owned facility, should be retained for public education or other public uses and not handed over to the Islamic School. It recommends that a further consultation should be undertaken on the role this facility could serve in the broader context of the Molonglo Valley development and, in particular, to the future urban development of North Weston, Coombs and Wright.

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Joint Media Statement – Tharwa, Flynn and Cook Parents and Citizens.

Tharwa, Flynn and Cook parents and citizen associations (P&Cs) today called on the Labor, Liberal and Green Members of the Legislative Assembly to support a motion to re-open Primary Schools in Tharwa, Hall, Flynn and Cook. Hall P&C also welcome moves to re-open schools. Continue reading “Joint Media Statement – Tharwa, Flynn and Cook Parents and Citizens.”

ACT Education Minister Should Resign

Save Our Schools today called on the ACT Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, to resign because he misused research evidence in his decisions to close schools.

SOS Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the Legislative Assembly should pass a no confidence motion in the Minister if he fails to tender his resignation. Continue reading “ACT Education Minister Should Resign”

Proposal to Re-locate the Islamic School Involves Major Policy Contradictions

It seems that the Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, and the Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, have got their messages mixed – yet again. The ACT Government’s approach to school planning is shown once again to be riven by policy contradictions.

Last week, the Chief Minister announced that the vacant government-owned CIT Horticulture School site in Weston might be used to re-locate the Islamic School of Canberra from its current location on the old Watson High School site. The school has also applied to open a high school.  The Chief Minister virtually endorsed the proposal, subject to a community consultation.

In the Chronicle last week, the Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, stated emphatically that it is not government policy to hand over former school sites to private schools. He said that former school sites are publicly owned facilities that will remain in community use.

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Islamic School Re-location Highlights Policy Contradictions

Save Our Schools says that the Chief Minister’s announcement that his Government will consider re-locating the Islamic School to the CIT site at Weston has highlighted several policy contradictions.

SOS Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, called on the Chief Minister to explain the contradictions and widen the consultation about the re-location to consider alternative options for the site. Continue reading “Islamic School Re-location Highlights Policy Contradictions”

School closures provide lessons in ‘how not to consult’

It was bittersweet news for suburban communities this week when the Chief Minister announced a consultation on how to consult, almost three years exactly after the Government began its infamous consultation on plans to close 23 government schools.

The school closure process, currently the subject of a Standing Committee Inquiry, was universally condemned as ‘how not to consult’, and was widely regarded to be one of the issues that triggered the massive slump for Labor at last year’s ACT election. Continue reading “School closures provide lessons in ‘how not to consult’”