Super school not so super? Or – West Belconnen gets the hose again.

johnboy 10 December 2008 13

The Canberra Times has an explanation of the unfolding disaster occurring at the Kingsford Smith School in Holt (aka “The West Belconnen Super School”, aka “Ginninderra High”).

It was going to be a preschool-year 10 facility. On that basis foolish parents enrolled their children and bought school uniforms for the school’s first year of operation next year. Our foolish Government also paid for the completition of classrooms and facilities all the way to year 10.

We also had a great big pre-election opening ceremony (a now well known tune) of the sainted facility with Chief Minister Stanhope saying:

    “This is a massive investment in the future … We couldn’t do it if we ran an inefficient show”

    But, weirdly enough, parents with children already in existing schools have not flocked to the new facility in the expected numbers.

    So years 8, 9 and 10 are going to be scrapped with the foundation year 7 class to follow a four year path clearing the dust off the ghost facilities built for them.

    Still, sometimes failure mitigates itself. Such was the lack of confidence in the community only ~50 students have been shafted.

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13 Responses to Super school not so super? Or – West Belconnen gets the hose again.
nyssa76 nyssa76 10:49 pm 10 Dec 08

I’m more interested in what will happen when the Kambah sausage factory is built. Moreso with the fact that there is already Wanniassa P-10, Trinity K-12, Mackillop 7-9 and several primary schools in the vacinity.

Nemo, to answer your question, like everything that happens with ACTDET, they didn’t think. I’m sure the bozo that came up with the idea got a BIG pay rise out of it.

grunge-hippy, I have two colleagues going to KS school and they’re also looking forward to it.

Nemo Nemo 10:24 pm 10 Dec 08

I live in Dunlop – this new school is our area high school – despite being nowhere near Dunlop – certainly not within bike riding distance of our house. My son is currently in yr 8.

Prior to the commencement of building I wrote to the Education Minister asking why they were building a school in Holt, when there was a perfectly good high school in the next suburb over (Hawker) and yet other parts of west Belco had no such school. The reply I got stated that they were thinking of the future and essentially people will have to get used to travelling a long way to school – schools in your local area are not feasible apparently – but two schools in ajoining suburbs are…

There was no community consultation – or at least none that meant anything. Why couldn’t they build the school where the kids are – Dunlop has a population of 6000 – mostly young families. Yet the kids have to travel to Melba, Holt or Hawker to go to school. Where do they think the kids for this new school have come from?

grunge_hippy grunge_hippy 8:34 pm 10 Dec 08

what a load of shit. the media has, and of course this place, jumped on the bandwagon not knowing a damn thing. The school already has an enrollment of over 700. they are turning away primary enrolments. The fact that they are not getting the high school enrolments is no surprise. why would parents pull their kids out of their current high school if they are happy? Every high school starts this way, they have a year 7 and 8 which follows on to create a full school. it happened when i started at my high school back in the 80’s. one of my current collegues has been appointed there for next year and us very impressed with the set up. its going to be pretty damn good.

Mick Mick 3:14 pm 10 Dec 08

Starting a big school like that with years up to Yr.10 seems like a dumb idea in hindsight, but I am sure that given a few years, numbers will increase as hopefully the reputation will as well.

I am planning on sending my daughter there in a couple of years, and hopefully by then it will be a little more established.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 1:07 pm 10 Dec 08

Well…you voted for them!

Well, it’s a disgrace – but not a surprise. So why did they close all the conveniently located local schools to make way for this SuperMax prison version of a school again? Sounds great if you want your kids to get lost in the numbers!

and as for (offtopic) Such a massive school on such a tiny site!

Since when has that stopped the developments in Gunners? Small block and build the house to the perimeter. At least you can get to know your neighbors well and shake their hand through the kitchen window morning and night.

trevar trevar 10:34 am 10 Dec 08

Not surprising, but as a teacher, I think it will be better in the long run for the school to start with only K-7. The ongoing culture of the school will be established by its upper year groups, and if that cohort have effective pastoral care, they will set a good standard. If you have all the years dumped together, anything could develop.

Thumper Thumper 10:27 am 10 Dec 08

I would be concerned at the social ramifications of building this massive all encompassing school in the middle of suburbia and right next to Kippax Shopping centre and an old peoples home.

I’d be buying deadlocks and putting my car in the garage every day.

How long before we see a Kippax McDonalds 😉

blueberry blueberry 10:25 am 10 Dec 08

I’m not really surprised at this approach though i suppose for those that already enrolled for the 8 9 10 would have preferred to know about it earlier.

After all how many schools start with full grades all the way up to year 10? I would not think there is many and if i remember correctly they took the same approach with he gold creek senior school. I don’t think there would be many kids in years 9 or 10 that are willing to uproot them selfs from their current school only two years before they finish.

farq farq 10:21 am 10 Dec 08

Is anyone surprised that the department fukced up the enrollments and screwed the parents/kids around? Seems inline with their M.O.

The school looks horrible. Such a massive school on such a tiny site! More buildings than play ground. The primary and high schools look hardly separated at all (we were promised that both primary and secondary would be on ‘discreet campuses’).

We have another 2 years before we have to enroll our eldest in primary school. This super school is now the only one within walking distance of us (and the only one we are in area for).

We are hoping to get lucky with an out of area enrollment in a non-experimental, non-economy sized public school. Unfortunately all the young parents I know in the area seem to say the same thing.

This issue cost the Labor party at least our 2 votes. We are really pissed off by the whole thing.

Thumper Thumper 10:16 am 10 Dec 08

I should add that the old Holt Primary school is to get an upgrade so community groups can use it.

Hopefully they turn the ovals into parks or gardens or something…

Thumper Thumper 10:09 am 10 Dec 08

Anyone surprised?

MrMagoo MrMagoo 10:07 am 10 Dec 08

I’m a little miffed that this is a major issue. Schools have to start somewhere and not always with a full quota. I in fact started at a new school some time ago and was in the first year that blazed the trail for others to follow.

Talk to the parents who are choosing to spend a fortune on private school education rather than attend a brand dnew cschool. the same parents who won’t pay the ‘voluntary’ contribution now but will pay through the nose at the new ‘better for my kids’ school next year.

Seems to me to be a bit of a beat up

caf caf 9:56 am 10 Dec 08


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