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”

School Closure Report Fails to Deliver

The Education Committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly has delivered a weak-kneed report on school closures. It has failed to deliver a better process for considering school closure proposals in the future. It has dashed the hopes and expectations of many for a better approach. Continue reading “School Closure Report Fails to Deliver”

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”

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.

Continue reading “Proposal to Re-locate the Islamic School Involves Major Policy Contradictions”

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”