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School closures inquiry report – upsets (almost) everyone

By housebound - 18 September 2009 28

Assembly inquiry reports come and go, but the report of the Inquiry into school closures (a pdf download) has managed to upset everyone apart from the communities of Hall and Tharwa, who have a recommendation to get their schools back.

So how could they upset everyone else?

  1. The committee couldn’t even agree with itself, producing three dissenting reports – one for each political party/member (so they’re all mad with each other now).
  2. Labor are upset at the recommendation to re-open schools, not to mention the criticism – and they say they are prepared to lose government rather than re-open any schools (another Greens-Labor tiff?).
  3. Flynn is understandably upset at being left out – they’ve fought a long and hard campaign to now have a recommendation that the government should talk to them.
  4. Save our Schools is upset because the report doesn’t do anything to stop it from happening like this again (fair enough – it is their reason for existence).

… and that’s already before morning tea.

The ABC news has a few more details: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/18/2689533.htm

And the CT has it covered too: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/report-urges-reopening-of-bush-schools/1627026.aspx

All the huff and puff aside, the committee made recommendations; the government has already said it won’t implement them. Does anyone really believe the Greens will cause the government to fall over school closures?

What’s Your opinion?


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28 Responses to
School closures inquiry report – upsets (almost) everyone
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housebound 4:12 pm 21 Sep 09

There are a lot of families who say they’ld be ‘back in a flash’, and there are others saying they’ld love to be able to attend a local school – if only they had one. And that is why Barr and friends don’t want to re-open schools.

On another note, Save our Schools are called for the minister to resign on the basis that one of the main reasons he gave for closing small schools was based on misuse of the infamous Caldwell research:
See http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/barr-urged-to-resign-for-misusing-research/1628554.aspx.

Save or Schools doesn’t seem to have the release on their website yet.

tvf 1:51 pm 21 Sep 09

Yes most likely,

– those spending 60+ minutes in the car taking primary kids to and from school (with no access tor public transport). Although people used to do that the other way to attend a small school
– those whose kids are in overcrowded classrooms
– kids with special needs which are being ignored
– those looking for a safer environment for education
– those in a school where teachers have low morale or low experience and hand out photocopied busy sheets to keep the kids quiet
– those who are over the “McDonaldisation of Education” with super schools etc

What is more important is for future kids in the areas which need access to education.

Thisd is not about a past need, but a very real present and future need based on current population of kids 0 – 12 years in the catchment areas.

Fiona 10:47 am 21 Sep 09

would people actually then pull their kids out of their new schools to send them to the reopened ones?

tvf 9:24 am 20 Sep 09

I’m not sure how many people in Tharwa are happy, given this government’s track record at abusing power.

Barr is a master of hypocrisy – on one hand he boasts about what he is doing to combat bullying at schools and getting tough on suspensions, and in the next breath he bullies small communities, victimising those who cannot fight back. His flat out refusal to look at the findings, even before reading them, is a political stunt. Barr is the one who needs suspension for his behaviour.

The evidence for wrongful closure of Tharwa, Hall, Flynn and Cook is overwhelming, but just like a good bully Barr cannot admit he is wrong, rather adds more lies to cover up his deeds. He says that opening schools will take away money from existing schools, which is an outright lie. Currently large amounts of money are being spent on refurbishing (vandalising) the closed schools so that they can quickly be used for other purposes (or knocked down for housing as in Mt Neighbours case). Funny how no action for 3 years happened then two weeks before the Inquiries report was due – the contractors moved in. Soon it will be “too late” and “too expensive” to fix things.

Branding those affected as “living in the past and whinging” – is like telling someone wrongfully imprisoned over false evidence, to get over it and get on with you life. Denial of natural justice tears at the fabric of society. It is a shame that the loudest voices seem to be continuing the lies.

It may be too late for those children affected by the wrongful closures, it is not to late for those who still need a working public education system.

The issues of bullying, violence and a lack of compassion in our public schools will never be addressed as long as those at the top exemplar these behaviour in their values and action. If the same attention was given to primary schools as has been to the prison, maybe the prison would not be needed. Watch how we spend more and more money and effort on dealing with “fixing” difficult behaviours rather than preventing them.

Its a real shame that hubris, arrogance and hypocrisy are getting in the way of running our Territory “on behalf of the people”. Societies are judged on how they look after their most vulnerable members (not their most venerable ones).

Barr, admit you made a mistake in your first month as a junior minister, and lead by example.

housebound 9:55 pm 19 Sep 09

What’s next? Lots of showy huffing and puffing from the Greens and Labor, remembering that Gallagher and Hunter have their weekly morning tea catch-ups that dictate who makes a show over what, and what the end result will be. Still can’t tell who will smile first for the cameras – but they’ve already worked it out. It’s all scripted for us peasants.

I support re-opening any school that can make a case for wrongful closure and viability – and all four schools did. Closing schools was just nasty, whoever they did it too.

Woody Mann-Caruso 4:14 pm 19 Sep 09

I’m sure the 11 people who live at Tharwa are very upset. Fortunately, they’re all related, so they have a strong support network.

TP 3000 3:02 pm 19 Sep 09

In 10-15 years Hall will have a nearby primary school. As eventually Gungahlin will spread out next to Hall (Kinlyside). So the students from those suburbs & other surrounding suburbs will need to attend school. Since land is already set aside for Hall Primary, besides a but of refurbishment, Hall Primary would be ready a lot sooner then building a whole new school.

sepi 12:10 pm 19 Sep 09

tharwa was a lovely school, small and supportive, with a learning plan for each and every student and very committed teachers.

closing it willy-nilly and sending those kids into a bigger school miles from home was a nasty move and the disruption will probably have social consequences in years to come, ala what we are seeing in Tuggeranong at the moment.

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