Looking Back at School Closure Issues in the ACT

Convenor of Save Our Schools, Trevor Cobbold, delivered a paper on school mergers and closures to a forum in Adelaide on 3 September 2009 sponsored by the South Australian Branch of the Australian Education Union. The forum was titled “Education Works or Education Wilderness?”

The paper describes the background to the school closures announced by the ACT Government in 2006 and discusses the key issues and lessons arising from the campaign against school closures.

Continue reading “Looking Back at School Closure Issues in the ACT”

Studies Show that Smaller Schools Do Better than Large Schools

Small schools do better than large schools on a variety of school variables including student achievement according to a new review of studies on the effects of school size on education. Further, it found that students from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds are the major beneficiaries of smaller schools.

The review examined 57 studies conducted since 1990. The studies assessed the impact of school size on a variety of school outcomes, cost efficiency and teachers. The vast majority examined the relationship between school size and various measures of student outcomes. It found that smaller schools were better suited to most purposes. Continue reading “Studies Show that Smaller Schools Do Better than Large Schools”

School Closure Savings Figures are Outdated, Misleading and Not Believable

The estimates of government savings from school closures during 2006-2008 presented to the Estimates Committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly recently are outdated, misleading and not believable.

The Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, has treated the Estimates process with contempt by providing savings estimates made in 2006 before any school closures occurred and by failing to take account of ongoing costs of the closures. Continue reading “School Closure Savings Figures are Outdated, Misleading and Not Believable”

School Closures Under Challenge

School closures continue to be a hot issue around Australia as communities question government programs to close schools and set up super schools.

Parents and teachers have expressed concern at the pressure put on schools to merge by governments. Governments appear to be using Federal economic stimulus funds and Building the Education Revolution to put pressure on smaller schools to close or merge.

Generally, governments are failing to consider the educational and social impacts of closing and merging schools. Selling off closed school sites to gain more revenue seems to be the main priority of governments.

Continue reading “School Closures Under Challenge”

SOS Presentation to the ACT Legislative Assembly Inquiry on School Closures

The following statement was made by SOS Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, on 29 April to the Education Committee of the Legislative Assembly public hearing on the Towards 2020 school closure process.

Save Our Schools welcomes the opportunity to present our submission to the inquiry. This inquiry is of critical importance. It is important that the Legislative Assembly and the public learn from the failures of the Towards 2020 process. Changes are needed to the Education Act to ensure that these failures do not happen again in the future.

Continue reading “SOS Presentation to the ACT Legislative Assembly Inquiry on School Closures”

Glasgow Save Our Schools Parents Stage Easter Sit-in Protest Over School Closures

Parents at two Glasgow primary schools have staged a sit-in over Easter in protest about the schools being closed. The following report is from The Guardian [http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/apr/09/primary-school-sit-in-glasgow]. Check out the great photo.

Continue reading “Glasgow Save Our Schools Parents Stage Easter Sit-in Protest Over School Closures”

A Message of Support From Save Our Schools

Save Our Schools has sent a message of support to the Hemmant school community in Brisbane who are fighting against their school closing.

Hemmant is a small school of 90 students supported by a very committed parent community. The Queensland Minister for Education wants to combine it with up to 4 other primary schools into one with over 900 enrolments. The school has been the hub of the community for 144 years with all buildings heritage listed. It appears that the Government wants to sell off the land. Continue reading “A Message of Support From Save Our Schools”

Media Release 1 April 2008 – Common Sense on Lyons, Please!

Save Our Schools today issued a plea to the Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, to display some common sense in the renovation of Lyons primary school.

SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, said that the priority should be to ensure that the education of the Lyons students is not disrupted for any extended period. Continue reading “Media Release 1 April 2008 – Common Sense on Lyons, Please!”

Media Release 21 March 2008- School Closures Fail to Stem Drift to Private Schools

Save Our Schools says that the new ACT School Census figures show that the Stanhope Government’s school closure plan has failed to stem the drift to private schools in the ACT.

SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, said that the drift to private schools has accelerated and this contradicts Government claims on the benefits of school closures. Continue reading “Media Release 21 March 2008- School Closures Fail to Stem Drift to Private Schools”