Minister Launches Another Farcical School Closure Consultation

Save Our Schools today described the consultation over Urambi Primary School as an unmitigated farce. SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, said that the Minister has already decided to close the school as part of the wash-up of his decision two years ago to establish a ‘super-school’ next door.

“The Minister has treated the Urambi community with contempt. Urambi has never been consulted on whether it should close, despite the requirements of the Education Act to do so.

“Urambi parents were not formally consulted as part of the Towards 2020 plan because the school was not listed for possible closure. Indeed, the plan expected Urambi’s enrolments would increase.

“Nor were Urambi parents ever consulted about establishing a ‘super-school’ school next door on the Kambah High School site. The P-10 option was not on the table as part of Towards 2020. It was only presented by the Government after the consultation finished.

“Urambi parents are now just being given information sessions about the plan to build the ‘super-school’ and the transfer of Urambi students instead of a genuine consultation.

“This new ‘consultation’ is yet another lamentable farce in the continuing saga of meaningless community consultation about school closures by the Minister for Education. He has already decided to close the school. The Minister is just going through the motions.

“It is yet another example of the incompetence of ACT Government consultation processes and the disregard and disrespect shown to small school communities by the Minister.”

Mr. Cobbold said that the inquiry into school closures announced today by the Education Committee of the Legislative Assembly is both prescient and timely.

“This latest consultation farce clearly demonstrates the need to change government consultation processes on school closures. They have to be changed to give communities an effective say. Hopefully, the Committee’s inquiry will be a catalyst for change.”

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