The Tasmanian Government’s Case to Close Schools is Threadbare

The Tasmanian Government is treating the public with contempt over its proposal to close 20 schools. It has provided no evidence to support its case. It has failed to detail the expected savings and it has provided no evidence that closing schools will improve the quality of education.

The school communities affected have been refused critical information to assess the Government’s case and to put their own. The arrogance of the Greens Education Minister, Nick McKim, is unbelievable. When requested to provide the information, he said “look on the Internet”.

It is the Minister’s responsibility to provide this information so the Government’s claims can be properly scrutinised and assessed. This is fundamental for proper public consultation and effective public participation in government decision-making. It is a principle the Greens Party has always supported. Yet, this Greens Minister seems intent on denying school communities this right. Continue reading “The Tasmanian Government’s Case to Close Schools is Threadbare”

Impact Statements on Tasmanian School Closures are a Farce

The impact statements on school closures issued to school associations by the Tasmanian Minister for Education, Nick McKim, are farcical – they present a one-sided view of the impact of closing schools. They largely amount to a list of benefits of closing schools. They fail to assess the benefits of keeping schools open. They are clearly designed to support the Government’s case.

Continue reading “Impact Statements on Tasmanian School Closures are a Farce”

Education Minister in Breach of Education Act on School Closures

Save Our Schools has accused the Tasmanian Greens Minister for Education, Nick McKim, of breaching his own Education Act and making a sham of consultation on school closures. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, called on the Minister to immediately publish impact statements on the school closures and extend the consultation period.

Continue reading “Education Minister in Breach of Education Act on School Closures”

Study Says that School Closures are Unlikely to Deliver Financial Savings and Education Improvement

When governments are looking to save money, they often turn to school closures as the answer, as has been seen in every Australian state and territory in recent years. It is a worldwide phenomenon. It has been going on in many states and school districts in the United States in the last few years. Continue reading “Study Says that School Closures are Unlikely to Deliver Financial Savings and Education Improvement”

Stronger Requirements for Consideration of School Closure Proposals

After a long campaign by Save Our Schools to improve the process for considering school closures, several amendments to the ACT Education Act were passed this week by the ACT Legislative Assembly.

The amendments should ensure a better consultation process around school closure proposals and ensure a much fuller analysis of the impact of proposed school closures. They should ensure a better hearing for school communities than occurred in 2005 for Ginninderra District HS and in 2006 under the Towards 2020 plan. Continue reading “Stronger Requirements for Consideration of School Closure Proposals”

Flynn Welcomes Opportunity to Plan Community Hub

The John Flynn Community Group hopes to work with the ACT Government to develop a masterplan for a childcare centre and sustainable community hub at Flynn following a positive meeting with Disability Housing and Community Services Minister, Joy Burch, last week.

Continue reading “Flynn Welcomes Opportunity to Plan Community Hub”

School closure whitewash fails community yet again

The ACT Government’s response to the recommendations from the Assembly Inquiry into school closures is grossly inadequate and as misleading and dishonest as the initial school closure process.

Despite the evidence provided by the community to the Inquiry and, indeed, the findings and recommendations of the Inquiry itself, the Minister still repeats the same false claims made during 2006, even though they are now proven to be false.

In particular, the Minister maintains that the consultation process was genuine and adequate, that small schools are expensive and unviable and so deserved to close, and that the social, educational and financial impacts of closing schools were adequately considered.

The detailed analysis of the school closure process has demonstrated that none of these is true (download analysis here).

Sarah James

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