Media Release 1 April 2008 – Common Sense on Lyons, Please!

Save Our Schools today issued a plea to the Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, to display some common sense in the renovation of Lyons primary school.

SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, said that the priority should be to ensure that the education of the Lyons students is not disrupted for any extended period.

“This is a planning debacle. The Government has failed to properly plan for the Lyons P-2 school and students and parents will wear the costs unless common sense prevails.

“Lyons students will have their education disrupted for two terms, or more, if the Government goes ahead with either educating students in the school hall for two terms or shifting them to Yarralumla. Both options are unacceptable.

“It is not acceptable to educate over 60 K-6 students in a school hall. Equally, students and their families will incur massive educational disruption and additional costs by being forcibly transferred to Yarralumla. This option also constitutes a threat to the future of Lyons as some of the parents may not come back in Term 1 next year.

“The Minister should look for another option. We need to look for a common sense solution that does not disrupt children’s education for an extended time and does not further undermine the Lyons school. The Minister should closely consult with all Lyons parents on what is the best way forward.

“One possible option is to slightly extend the summer break for the school and/or provide other educational activities around the summer break while the work is completed.”

Mr. Cobbold called on the Minister to clarify the immediate future of the other three proposed P-2 schools – Isabella Plains, Narrabundah and Southern Cross.

“Is the same renovation work to be carried out at these schools to turn them into integrated early childhood education centres? If so, what are the plans for these schools and their students? If not, why are the renovations only necessary for Lyons?”

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