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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
Woody Mann-Caruso 8:19 am 19 Sep 09

You all had a chance to throw out the government post-closure. It didn’t work. Maybe the majority of the community doesn’t care about it half as much as the small but very vocal minority on the RA. Maybe they even thought it was a good idea.

RayP 1:07 am 19 Sep 09

Mr Magoo,

You say that if the Greens cause the government to fall over school closures “there will be no future for self government in teh territory if this does happen”.

Why?

miz 10:38 pm 18 Sep 09

WMC, because of the place of the schools in those particular (rural) communities. As neither Tharwa nor Hall are simply suburbs of Canberra, they had ‘special case’ grounds, IMO, for remaining open (and should now be re-opened following the recommendation).

It was most unfair to subject these rural schools to the same (flawed and shonky) criteria that suburban schools were subject to, to try and justify the school’s viability. Notably, these rural schools had far less choice about alternative schools than those students in suburban Canberra who were subject to closures. For example, Tharwa students have been clearly disadvantaged since the closure of their school due to being compelled to travel a far further (unreasonable) distance to schools in Tuggeranong. I am not even going to the obvious ‘ripples in the pond’ whereby the families of these displaced students would have been placed under stress during the fight, closure, transition etc etc – which, in a small community, is huge (as I have attested to as someone who is still very angry about the whole process and our school didn’t even close!).

I suppose I could sum up my argument by simply saying that there is more to community than how the numbers crunch under the Minister’s feet.

Addison 9:22 pm 18 Sep 09

Makes you wonder why on earth the greens formed govt with labor, really.

MWF 6:37 pm 18 Sep 09

I’m a parent at a school which was not threatened with closure and which was not closed. However, the population of students at the school shot up markedly when students from the closed schools were forced to enrol. The school was not prepared. The school is still attempting (and not really succeeding IMO) to deal with the fallout of such a huge increase in student population.

The incidence of bullying and behavioural problems (anecdotally, in my opinion and from discussions with other parents) has more than doubled. Academic performance has also suffered. I’ve gone from speaking proudly about the school my children attend and recommending it to others, to feeling like it is a cesspit and regretting ever sending my children there.

I also noticed this year that some very prominent and formerly proud members of the P&C voted with their feet and took their children out of the school.

miz 6:29 pm 18 Sep 09

I would be happy to see Flynn and Cook re-opened too – they too were able to show how intrinsic they were to their communities (and they too were ignored).

There is so much government hypocrisy around ACT schools – for instance, numerous schools of 130+ were closed as they were ‘too small’ to be ‘viable’; yet a private school of around 100 students (the Islamic school) may get the red carpet treatment into the old CIT site (refer link here: http://soscanberra.com/act-issues/proposal-to-re-locate-the-islamic-school-involves-major-policy-contradictions ).

Woody Mann-Caruso 6:17 pm 18 Sep 09

Frankly, opening Tharwa and Hall is a no-brainer – they should never have been considered for closure.

Why?

housebound 5:45 pm 18 Sep 09

Look at the transcripts. Joy Birch obviously thought she was on that committee to play spoiler, and nothing else.

I fell really sorry for Flynn, too. That’s another school that should not have been closed. They don’t have the emotional, vote-winner appeal of Tharwa and Hall, but it doesn’t make their claims less valid.

Mike Crowther 4:36 pm 18 Sep 09

” Does anyone really believe the Greens will cause the government to fall over school closures?”

Not over this, or any other issue. The Govt has it from them in black and white.
The Greens were a shot duck from that moment. Any noise they now make is only theater.

monomania 4:32 pm 18 Sep 09

PM said :

Hall should definitely be re-opened.

One of the more pathetic arguments against keeping Hall’s school open was that a large proportion of the students were from outside Canberra. Well, gee whiz, those students are still going to schools in Canberra, so that shouldn’t have been a consideration.

The students might attend other ACT public schools. But for much less cost per student. And a far smaller differential between any compensation and the actual cost to the ACT.

miz 4:29 pm 18 Sep 09

I’m annoyed at Joy Birch, who should know better given she is the MLA for Gilmore, which was threatened with closure. She obviously does not realise that even though that school was not closed, many people spent MONTHS fighting and are still reeling from the unbelievable, BS process we were subjected to.

Frankly, opening Tharwa and Hall is a no-brainer – they should never have been considered for closure. I am really surprised the government are taking such an anti stance, given the recommendation. It makes governments look far more compasssionate if they acknowledge their errors (something John Howard should have learned but didn’t until too late).

I am also surprised that Mr Barr is so adamant about it and has phrased his resistance in terms of being unwilling to take money away from other schools (which need not happen, der).

MrMagoo 4:03 pm 18 Sep 09

You know what? I think they just might. Ms Bresnan and co are getting a thrill from weilding a ‘big stick’ and as such might just decide that life with uncle Zeddy might so much nicer.

There will be no future for self government in teh territory if this does happen.

PM 3:31 pm 18 Sep 09

Hall should definitely be re-opened.

One of the more pathetic arguments against keeping Hall’s school open was that a large proportion of the students were from outside Canberra. Well, gee whiz, those students are still going to schools in Canberra, so that shouldn’t have been a consideration.

The Hall community would benefit greatly from its school being re-opened.

Thumper 3:00 pm 18 Sep 09

Does anyone really believe the Greens will cause the government to fall over school closures?

No.

churl 2:51 pm 18 Sep 09

I’m curious: what proportion of the children at the ACT’s northernmost/southernmost schools were from interstate when they were open?

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