For the past 10 years Kaleen High School’s enrolments have been dropping steadily and steeply. If you walk past the play area at lunch now you will see only a couple of dozen kids and in the corridors, I am told, it’s quite sparse during lesson changes. Even the canteen I am also told is becoming no longer viable. My friend who works there has put in for the transfer round because based on enrolments for next year she says it is going to be hell for teachers. It appears that next year staff will again be cut and the remaining staff will have to take up the slack and provide the same level of service. A level already unnecessarily inflated.
You see, in a desperate attempt to attract new enrolments, the principal has over-reached by attempting to offer every ad hoc program under the sun, some as fanciful as a circus and ukulele programs (I kid you not). Even a somewhat cynical re-branding of the school with the prefix University of Canberra has had no effect. Enrolments however continue to drop but now the staff are exhausted and are trying to flee the sinking ship.
Kaleen High is a large building, built for 700 plus kids, it has a running costs in the millions and is now populated by only a handful of kids. Per child they are costing tax payers more than any others in the ACT. However given diminishing staff numbers, fanciful expectations and low morale amongst the staff it seems the kids are doing no better. So maybe now is the time we bite the bullet and say, “Kaleen High School, perhaps it’s time to close”.