ACT Legislation Is A Model for Consultation on School Closures

The consultation on school closures by the Tasmanian Greens Minister for Education, Nick McKim, is a sham. It is restricted to only four weeks, which is not nearly enough time for school communities to prepare their case. The impact statements prepared by the Minister amount to a list of benefits of closing schools and fail to spell out the full effect on families and communities.

Continue reading “ACT Legislation Is A Model for Consultation on School Closures”

Kambah Community Fun Day Sunday 30 July

Tuesday July 25, 2006

The Kambah community is inviting the public to a fun afternoon of free children’s entertainment, including face painting, balloon modelling, jumping castles, clowns and games.

The Community Fun Day is in aid of the multiple school closures in the area, and provides an opportunity for families to talk to others facing a similar situation.

So bring the kids along, a blanket and picnic lunch (bbq’s are provided) and join in the fun

WHERE: Kambah Oval No. 3
Kett Street Kambah
(Opposite the Burns Club)

WHEN: Sunday 30th July 2006
1pm til 3pm

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Send us your news

Wednesday July 12, 2006

Send us news about planned events and activities. Send us information on the Government’s consultations.

  • Is the Government providing adequate and accurate information?
  • Are there adequate opportunities to get clear answers rather than Government rhetoric and ‘spin’?
  • Is the Department collecting information on the educational, financial and social impact of school closures on students, their families and the school community as required by the Education Act?

Send us information on the Government’s figures on your school.

  • Are the Department’s school capacity figures for your school accurate?
  • Does your school have portable classrooms that are not being used? Is this unused space included in the Department’s estimates of school capacity?
  • Does your school have tenants co-located in the school? Is space used by tenants counted as school capacity in the Department’s figures?
  • Are the Department’s excess capacity figures for your school accurate? Do they include classrooms used for computer laboratories or other education uses?
  • Does your school have separate special education units? Are the costs of these units included as part of the school’s costs?
  • Does your child’s class have students with disabilities? How many? How many students with disabilities in your school? [Note: the reason for requesting this information is that different schools have different percentages of students with disabilities who attract higher funding and thus contribute to the different costs of schools.]

Use this contact form to send us any information.

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Public Education Under Attack

The dispute between the ACT Government and teachers is getting worse!

The 6 June Budget, crafted by Chief Minister and Treasurer Jon Stanhope, took the knife to jobs and services across the ACT public sector. The public school system was not immune from the knife as the ACT Government targeted cuts of at least 120 teaching positions in secondary schools, 15 teaching positions in primary schools and 10 itinerant staff across the system. It also flagged the loss of 90 support staff in the education bureaucracy. The announcement of 39 potential preschool and school closures has sent many school communities into a fury, and the ad hoc and destructive nature of many of the proposals has been scrutinised in the media and at public meetings. Continue reading “Public Education Under Attack”

Who is counting the numbers?

Monday June 26, 2006

Planning on going to a community forum? -– bring your own megaphone -– the microphones never work!

Don’t get too exited though, even if your question is heard, it doesn’t mean it will be answered.

Some very good questions and concerns were raised at the community forum at Copland College on Monday evening, unfortunately we heard not much more than the rhetoric that has abounded in all of the government documentation on 2020 so far.

The community position that these varied proposals for the delivery of education across the territory lack consistency and legitimacy across the system is countered with the argument that they provide an increase in choice for people, and that the public system needs to mimic what is offered by the private system. We are assured that our system is big enough to offer a range of choices.

The questions on calculation of school capacity, and the need to re-visit formulas for calculating this are simply ignored – we are assured that the students will fit, and the extra funding will create the ability to provide options.

When pressed for a specific answer to the question of how THIS proposal for Belconnen North West will improve outcomes (including but not limited to educational) for students and encourage public enrollments – we are told again of the benefits of offering a range of models, but no specific answers are given. We are told that a significant factor in educational outcomes is the quality of teaching, but the leap of how the quality of teaching will improve with these changes is left for us to make. The catch cry “why fix something that’s not broken?” receives resounding applause from the audience.

We are assured by the Minister that if there is a strong community view that neither model (for Copland/Charnwood/Melba) is wanted, it will not proceed. Who is counting the numbers?

Anja Livingston
26 June 2006

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Govt. Figures Challenged by Public Finance Expert

Friday June 23, 2006

The ACT Government’s savings estimates from school closures have been challenged by a leading expert in public finance. Ian McAuley, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Sector Finance at the University of Canberra, says that the figures presented by the Government are unduly narrow and ignore costs that will be borne by the community. Continue reading “Govt. Figures Challenged by Public Finance Expert”

Minister Says He Will Provide Savings Estimates

The Minister for Education told the Weston Creek regional consultation meeting held at Stromlo HS on 21 June that he will provide the Government’s estimates of savings from school closures for each school in the ACT proposed for closure. He also committed the Government to providing a break up of the savings according to the major components in each case. He told the meeting that the major components of savings were from site-based salaries such as those of the principal and bursar; utilities costs such as water, telecommunications, electricity and heating; and maintenance. Continue reading “Minister Says He Will Provide Savings Estimates”