17 December 2006

Private school laws introduced 2 days before Closures announced

| nyssa76
Join the conversation

Last Tuesday, according to the ABC website, the ACT Govt rejigged current laws required to create private schools within the ACT.

Tharwa parents had attempted to start a private version of the school, however, under these new laws it is almost impossible as Barr can veto the school application. Before it was the ACTDET who could veto but had a large criteria to address.

Please note that it was made known 3 days after the school closures and not before or when the school closures announcements were made.

It’s obvious the parents of Tharwa want their school open and are willing to pay to keep it open. So what’s wrong with the ACT Govt? Or are they worried the 25 or so students who attend will make a negative impact on the enrolments for Gordon or Charles Conder Primary?

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

OV, no it wasn’t to clarify re: new campus/new school.

It was already well known in ACTDET that a new campus was not subject to the same “conditions” as the original campus had met all requirements. The rejigging was to make the “new campus” jump through all the hoops and thus duplicate unncessary paperwork. All Non-Govt schools are subject to Govt approval – its a given – but new campuses are an addendum to an existing approved Non-Govt school i.e. Mackillop College.

Yes there was a need to check for OH&S etc but it didn’t have to meet all the criteria i.e. curriculum, staffing as it had previously met those conditions with the 1st campus’ original application.

Regular registration of those schools requires a WHOLE school approach – both campuses working together.

Fair cop media baron, it was Nyssa that got it all wrong. Apologies to all innocent parties.

Nyssa, I can tell you that all parties, including the Govt, the CEO and the AIS and the P&C understood that any private school expansion was subject to Ministerial approval- new school, or new campus. A campus was always understood to be a school. The recent change was to clarify that matter.

No one can tell it any other way, and you shouldn’t.

OV, having worked with that section of the Act, and reading the changes, it stipulates the creation of ANOTHER campus of an existing Non-Govt school.

In this case, Tharwa was attempting to take up Blue Gum’s offer to create a Southside campus. They already have 2 in the Northside.

The Minister can now veto the application more easily than before.

FYI, last year there was an application for another Non-Govt school in Tuggers near Covenant College. Other schools in the area could and did argue why because there are so many. It was of a different religious denomination.

Tharwa wouldn’t even dent the numbers in Gordon or Charles Conder, the parents were willing to pay, the current Tharwa site is heritage listed and will just sit there, no impact analysis was ever released and the changes were underhanded.

Fact checking….been there done that, worked with that area to boot.

Don’t blame JB, it is my thread.

Fact Check OV???

Where the bloody hell have i failed to check a fact in this story?

Read the byline before bringing me into it.

Hands up! OK, I’m a public ed supporter. This thread is built on JB’s (and others) failure to check the facts. The change to the Education Act went so far as to define a new’campus’ of a non-gov school, as a new school. Nothing more; no new powers for the Ed Minister, no change when it comes to the Govt’s authority over the establishment of ‘new’ non-gov schools. Those rules include: the educational credentials of the applicant, it’s financial viability, whether it has premises, what impact a new school would have on existing (public and non-gov)and whether it can enrol any students.

The CEO (operating schools over 20 plus campuses), along with any existing school would have been able to avoid any controls on expansion unless this ‘loophole’ (if there was any loophole – my reading of the Act doesn’t reveal any ambiguity) was fixed.

Elsewhere on education policy this Govt is seriously #@%^ed, but not on this.

The disclaimer was due to the fact that some people have been charged with ‘inciting violence’ offences after making a similar style of comment in online forums. Sad but true. When the bodies pile up, the finger pointing begins.

i’ll just say (as a fence sitter on this thread), woody, you are the gun. i disagree with you on principle, but you back your shit up (as much as happens on the ‘net’). i tend to agree more with thumpers view that this is sly political bullshit. sometimes the dollars dont equate to the outcome, and it works both ways. sentimental values are worth something, esp. to voting parents, so the rub will come next election.

Pandy, you can find it on the LA site – see the daily notices for the assembly or go to the Save Tharwa School site via SOS.

It’s there. It wasn’t well advertised before the passing and it still isn’t easily accessed (if you don’t know what you are doing).

I’ll believe the new Tuggers school when I see it. 2011??! Huh. They’ll be voted out by then, and I bet it’s not even factored into the finances. It’s a Piecrust Promise, to soften the blow and make the Kambah community less antagonistic for closing the heart of their community down.

I dont see a mention of this new rule in the Canberra Times?

True JB, but the LA website doesn’t give you much so if I’d have known earlier I would have let a few people know.

I just think it’s back door handling at it’s worst but the law didn’t need changing as there had never been a complaint about the criteria as a whole before.

To be fair Nyssa the legislation would have had to have been tabled before it was passed.

That no-one could be bothered actually scrutinising the legislation is a big, big miss by the Opposition.

Woody, I’m not just talking about the school closures but rather the impact across the entire ACT Govt school system – something I know a lot about.

I’ve already stated in previous threads about said impact – think of throwing a stone into a pond and all the ripples.

Country schools are important. seepi has already asked about the travelling time for Tharwa kids. It’s a joke.

Plus ACTION’s new timetable doesn’t come out until January nor does the new PEAs (Primary Enrolment Areas) which do affect all students who’s schools have closed.

There is a hell of a lot more to this than just the closures and the changing of law (without public notification until after it was approved).

And having worked in the area which registers Non-Govt schools, it was doing fine as it was. There was no need to change the law to reflect the school closures, which is all it did.

No one will gain from this underhandedness.

Now we wait to see how much the land will sell for – if they haven’t sold it already.

You have to admit the timing seems very suss.

And if the bridge isn’t done yet, then how far do they have to drive to get their kids to the nearest school?

I think the govt has messed up on this one. There is a lot of community support for the Tharwa and Hall schools.

Woody Mann-Caruso10:05 am 18 Dec 06

Woody, it was underhanded.

Was it?

Face it.

Well, I was unsure before, but when you argue so convincingly…

It’s obvious that this Govt doesn’t give a shit about the parents and students, not to mention teachers, of the ACT.

Didn’t I see something on the TV last night about tens of millions of dollars for new and improved facilities in ACT schools? Don’t you think it’s a little disingenous to make a blanket statement about the government’s education policies based on a single example of a yet-to-be-exercised veto power over a two-bit school that might not even get off the ground in the first place, while ignoring the rest of its policies and spending?

Why rejig the law at all? Barr knew people would try to keep the schools open as a private version.

Barr hasn’t exercised his new power yet, but I hope he has enough brains to know that Tharwa wasn’t financially viable when it had ACT government support, and so there’s even less reason to assume it’ll be viable when it’s being run by a glorified canteen committee. If he doesn’t save them from themselves now, he’ll just have to bail them out or make a bunch of hasty transfers later. There’s no reason to assume his department would have made the same decision if the law hadn’t been changed.

Come to think of it, this whole thing is pretty academic – maybe when the Tharwa folk have their $200K and a viable ten-year plan they can whinge about the government stopping them. Until then, it’s a pipedream, and the only thing stopping them is that it’s a bad idea in the first place. Maybe the government can lob them a few grand for counselling so they can get over their denial.

another example of the buggers we didn’t want (5 referenda between 1969 and 1988 overwhelmingly said no) bob hawke gave it to us anyway cause he didn’t want rosemary follett in federal politics.

they (stanhopeless’s govt say they want more rural villages (urriarra, pearces creek etc but the are stripping the assets out of the existing ones, Urriarra had to fight hard before the 2003 fires to keep their primary school)

Another good reason for Tharwa to go back to NSW. where is the new bridge ??

Every other state makes a special case for rural schools but then Canberra is not a state. Just a bunch of self interested b#######ds. Tharwa or Hall the disreguard for the rural population proves Canberra is only for Public servants and politicians.

Their shamelessness knows no bounds.

Woody, it was underhanded.

Face it.

Why rejig the law at all? Barr knew people would try to keep the schools open as a private version.

It’s called cutting people off at the knees.

It’s obvious that this Govt doesn’t give a shit about the parents and students, not to mention teachers, of the ACT.

Yet they get indignant when the Feds veto local legislation! Hypocrites.
I agree with Thumper that the timing of this is indicative of a vendetta.

Woody Mann-Caruso9:43 pm 17 Dec 06

And there’s a big difference between deposing the head of a sovereign state upon which you have declared war and using violence as a means of overthrowing your domestic democratically-elected government.

Woody Mann-Caruso9:39 pm 17 Dec 06

Oh noes. You mean a member of the legislature and the executive – somebody who, unlike public servants, is directly accountable to the public through the election process – now has a veto power over matters that lie completely within his portfolio responsibilities, instead of passing the buck to his department? It was much better when there were complicated criteria to be considered by nameless, faceless civil servants who answered to nobody.

As long as we get to vote in 2008 we can’t complain.

That we would have got to vote in 2007 if Brendan Smyth wasn’t a gutless fool is something we all need to bear in mind.

Unless its a guy like Hitler then of course from our pint of view it would be ok to assinate him. However if you were a German at the time of Hitlers rain then of course you would get the same reaction from people in the 3rd reich as you would wanting to assisinate stanhope.

This is all just hypothetical stuff read Jeffrey Robinson so you can see that your statement ” I don’t support political change thru acts of violence, regardless of whether its Al-Q or Bush doing it.” I generally agree but history has shown that its some times necessary.

It’s a shame we have no guns, and no grassy knolls.
Even our book repository has been sold. ;->

That’s a joke. I don’t support political change thru acts of violence, regardless of whether its Al-Q or Bush doing it.

If this law wasn’t in effect, I’m sure that other smaller schools would have also tried.

It’s a bloody joke and Barr & Co should be bloody ashamed of themselves.

When politicians (mis)use their power to change laws, enabling them to veto a proposal which could pose a political embarassment, we don’t really have to question whether the veto will be used. Unbelievable arrogance!

swissbignose5:21 pm 17 Dec 06

Am I missing something?

Just because someone has the right to veto, doesn’t mean that they will veto.

Thumper, it’s interetsing that you raise the vendetta issue. I’ve heard that from a number of sources. It wouldn’t surprise me. For all the grandstanding and shit, Standope has basically given up on worrying about what the electorate thinks.

I haven’t had a lot of time for the Save Our Schools lobby but I have to admit – this latest twist is a bit rich and seems entirely designed to stop the community from proving the Standope government wrong on the issue of small school sustainability – after all its pretty hard for Carr to sell the Governments toss-fest about dwindling numbers and unsustainability when a bunch of mums and dads out in Tharwa make a viable go of independent education.

Can Barr explain how this benefits the ACT? Prima facia it is an act of pure bastardry.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.