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School Closure Savings Figures are Outdated, Misleading and Not Believable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from school closures during 2006-2008 presented to the Estimates Committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly recently are outdated, misleading and not believable.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 Continue reading “School Closure Savings Figures are Outdated, Misleading and Not Believable”

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”

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’”

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”

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”

Minister Launches Another Farcical School Closure Consultation

Save Our Schools today described the consultation over Urambi Primary School as an unmitigated farce. SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, said that the Minister has already decided to close the school as part of the wash-up of his decision two years ago to establish a ‘super-school’ next door. Continue reading “Minister Launches Another Farcical School Closure Consultation”