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.

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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”

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. Check out the great photo. Continue reading “Glasgow Save Our Schools Parents Stage Easter Sit-in Protest Over School Closures”

Issues for the School Closure Inquiry

The Education Committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly has announced an inquiry into school closures under the Towards 2020 plan which closed 23 schools in the ACT between 2006 and 2008.

Save Our Schools welcomes the review. It will provide school communities with the opportunity to state their case for re-opening and to review the flawed and inadequate consultation process used by the Minister for Education for the Towards 2020 proposals.

The inquiry will also provide an opportunity to review the process and suggest changes for future consideration of school closures. Hopefully it will lead to changes to the section of the Education Act about consultation on school closures.

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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”

Call to Investigate Breach of Education Act on Urambi School Closure

Save Our Schools today accused the Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, of breaching the ACT Education Act in the consultation over Urambi Primary School.

SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, called on the Education Committee of Legislative Assembly to investigate the breach and call the Minister to account. Continue reading “Call to Investigate Breach of Education Act on Urambi School Closure”

SOS Welcomes Government Back-Flip on Small Schools

Save Our Schools today congratulated the ACT Government on its new-found commitment to small schools.

SOS convenor, Trevor Cobbold, welcomed the Government back-flip but said that it warranted an inquiry into past school closures by the Legislative Assembly. Continue reading “SOS Welcomes Government Back-Flip on Small Schools”

Education Amendment Bill 2008

Parliamentary Convenor of the ACT Greens, Meredith Hunter, tabled a bill in the Legislative Assembly to amend the school closure provisions of the Education Act. Below is her tabling statement.

This bill amends the Education Act 2004 to ensure that any decisions to amalgamate, close or consider closing a government school are made in a rigorous, thoughtful and transparent manner. The Greens are committed to reviewing the impact on children, families and communities of the Towards 2020 school closures. We are also determined to ensure that such a false and ill considered process can never happen again. Continue reading “Education Amendment Bill 2008”