Media release 29 September 2006 – Minister Talks Down Impact of School Closures on Low Income Families

Save Our Schools today accused the Minister for Education of deliberately talking down the impact of his school closure plan on low income families.

SOS spokesperson, Trevor Cobbold, called on the Minister to assure low income families that their needs will be taken into consideration in deciding whether any schools would close from the end of this year. Continue reading “Media release 29 September 2006 – Minister Talks Down Impact of School Closures on Low Income Families”

Media Release 17 September 2006 – Chief Minister Should Apologise to Indigenous Families on School Closures

Save Our Schools today called on the Chief Minister to apologise for denying that his school closure plan will severely impact on Indigenous students and families and for his failure to consult with Indigenous communities on school closures.

SOS spokesperson, Trevor Cobbold, said that the Chief Minister has put school closures first and the needs of Indigenous students and parents second. Continue reading “Media Release 17 September 2006 – Chief Minister Should Apologise to Indigenous Families on School Closures”

Low Income Families Hit by School Closure Plan

Save Our Schools Canberra said today that low income families will be hit hard by the Stanhope Government’s school closure plan. Trevor Cobbold, SOS spokesperson, said that many of the schools listed for closure serve the least well-off communities in Canberra. Continue reading “Low Income Families Hit by School Closure Plan”

The Neighbourhood School Is Critical for Public Education and the Community

The Towards 2020 plan to close 39 pre-schools and schools and to partially close 5 other schools is a serious threat to the equity goals of public education, effective provision of community services and the well-being of local communities.

The neighbourhood school is central to the purpose of public education, which is to enable all children to attend school without discrimination and without regard to family financial circumstances. Achievement of this goal is aided by ready physical access to schools in each neighbourhood within a reasonable and safe walking distance for all young children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Continue reading “The Neighbourhood School Is Critical for Public Education and the Community”

Travel and Environmental Implications of School Location

A report published by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that school location has a major influence on how children travel to school – whether walking, cycling or driving. In turn, these travel choices affect traffic congestion, air pollution, and school transport budgets.

Continue reading “Travel and Environmental Implications of School Location”

The neighbourhood school is critical for public education and the community

The Towards 2020 plan to close 39 pre-schools and schools and to partially close 5 other schools is a serious threat to the equity goals of public education, effective provision of community services and the well-being of local communities.

The neighbourhood school is central to the purpose of public education, which is to enable all children to attend school without discrimination and without regard to family financial circumstances. Achievement of this goal is aided by ready physical access to schools in each neighbourhood within a reasonable and safe walking distance for all young children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The network of neighbourhood schools makes regular attendance at school less dependent on family capacity to provide or pay for transport and on safety considerations. If this network is broken up, attendance at school becomes more subject to financial and safety considerations. It is the children of families who can least afford to bear the increased costs whose attendance is most likely to suffer. Continue reading “The neighbourhood school is critical for public education and the community”

Safety Checklists for Walking and Cycling School

How safe will it be for your children to walk or cycle to a new school if your neighbourhood school closes?

You can assess the safety of routes to the new school by using a Walking to School or Cycling to School Checklist. Sample checklists can be downloaded from: http://www.walkinginfo.org/cps/checklist.htm & http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/resources/education_bikeability-checklist.cfm

As you walk or cycle, use the checklist to describe problem areas and things to change. After the walk or bike ride, answer all of the questions and you’ll see how the route to the new school rates on a convenient scale. The checklist can be adapted as required to meet your local needs.

You can use this assessment as part of your submission on the Towards 2020 Plan. It can also be used as the basis for a media release to highlight the lack of planning by the Stanhope Government to provide traffic calming or pedestrian and cycling safety infrastructure for students travelling longer distances to and from school as a result of school closures.

A range of other resources on safe routes to school is available from the US National Center for Safe Routes to School .

School Closure Plan Disadvantages Indigenous Families

The Save Our Schools Canberra group today accused the Stanhope Government of disadvantaging Indigenous students and their families in its school closure plan.

Trevor Cobbold, SOS spokesperson, said that most of the schools with significant Indigenous enrolments are on the list for full or partial closure. Continue reading “School Closure Plan Disadvantages Indigenous Families”

Indigenous Students Will Be Disadvantaged by Mt. Neighbour PS Closure

Closure of Mt Neighbour Primary School will mean the demise of a school community that has for decades embraced its indigenous students, their families and their culture.

The Canberra Social Plan talks about achieving sustained improvement in access, equity and participation for the people of the ACT.

It promises to protect the rights of all Canberrans, to provide more equity for the disadvantaged, to educate children in a safe, healthy, cohesive community, and to promote reconciliation.

The Towards 2020 plan puts all of these ideals at risk, by forcing our families to travel outside of their local community and place their children in schools further from home. Continue reading “Indigenous Students Will Be Disadvantaged by Mt. Neighbour PS Closure”