The Hobbit Effect – Small Schools Work

Numerous studies have documented that small schools effectively boost student achievement, especially among at-risk students. A new research report published this month summarizes the vast research literature that explains just why small works in schooling.

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Incorrect Enrolment Figures for Melba HS

When is the Canberra Times going to print anything accurate in relation to Melba High School? The figure in today’s paper (6 Sept) about applications for 2007 is wrong. We have 167 applications for 2007 already (not 150 as reported).


This is down on last year but that figure was artificially inflated by the closure of Ginninderra High School. More significantly, the 167 applications that we have exceeds the projected enrolment figure for the School contained in the Government’s flawed 2020 document.

The Board at Melba have been saying all along that the document is based on dodgy figures – here is proof positive. Was the incorrect figure provided to the Times by the Department  (which, we know, has the correct one)? Is this an indication that the government is trying to deliberately talk our school down at the same time as it is trying to close two of our feeder primary schools and amalgamate us with Copland College on a smaller site? Or is it just incompetence?

Melba’s numbers have been steadily increasing for years and there is no reason to move, close or amalgamate it.

Paul Pickering
Melba HS Board Chair.

Student Transport is an Issue for Tharwa Residents

Although busy roads are not an issue for us in Tharwa, there are some traffic issues that our children face in driving longer distances to school.

For Tharwa children to attend their next closest school (over 10kms away) they must travel over Tharwa Bridge. Over the last couple of years this bridge has been closed for extended periods for maintenance.  When the bridge is closed, Tharwa children have to travel the long way around to town, via Point Hutt Road (about 30kms) or when the Point Hutt crossing is also closed (and this DOES happen) then all the way to Cotter Rd – approx 80kms. 

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SOS Calls for Full Enrolment Figures

The Save Our Schools Canberra group today called on the Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, to release the full enrolment application figures for high schools in 2007. SOS spokesperson, Trevor Cobbold, criticised the Minister for releasing only selective figures. Continue reading “SOS Calls for Full Enrolment Figures”

Education Council Alarmed at School Closures

The peak public education advisory body to the ACT Government has expressed alarm at the extent and impact of school closures proposed in the Towards 2020 Plan. It has also indicated its grave concern about the impact of the Budget on equity in education.

In a response to the Education Budget, the Government Schools Education Council has said that the Budget will clearly exacerbate inequity in the ACT, undermine the Canberra Social Plan, restrict access to higher performance, and affect the quality of educational provision. It expressed its alarm at the extent and impact of the school closures proposed, the extent of head office cuts and their effects, and the extent of the reductions proposed to the teaching force.

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More Shonky Figures From the Minister?

Save Our Schools Canberra today questioned the figures released by the Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, showing that enrolments in government high schools have increased.

SOS Canberra spokesperson, Trevor Cobbold, said that the increase more likely reflects parent uncertainty about the future of many schools under the Towards 2020 plan. Continue reading “More Shonky Figures From the Minister?”

SOS Call for Public Inquiry on School Closures

The Save Our Schools group today called for a public inquiry to investigate the financial and social impact of the Towards 2020 Plan to close 39 schools.

SOS spokesperson, Trevor Cobbold, said that an inquiry is needed because the consultation process has failed to address key issues required by legislation and has now become a farce. Continue reading “SOS Call for Public Inquiry on School Closures”

The Faces of Public Education – North-West Belconnen media event

This is an event to publicise our support for our schools. The theme is that we love our schools and would like to keep them the way they are! The event was initially for schools in the NW Belconnen cluster, but has now been widened to include all schools, preschools and colleges who want to be involved. Continue reading “The Faces of Public Education – North-West Belconnen media event”

No Educational Rationale for School Closures

The Australian College of Education has challenged participants in the school closure debates to focus on educational outcomes. Save Our Schools Canberra is happy to take up the challenge, since improving educational outcomes, particularly equity in outcomes, for ACT students, is the ultimate test of the Stanhope Government’s proposal – a test which it totally fails.

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