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The reality of school closures

aidan 19 December 2006 45

The reality of school closures is how they affect the kids.


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45 Responses to The reality of school closures
emd emd 10:52 am 22 Dec 06

It shits me to tears. DET has said they won’t sell off schools, but Urban Services (who now own the closed school properties) have said they will sell off surplus property.

We offered them a deal that had the school at 100% capacity immediately, financial gains by leasing and then selling land to a private childcare centre which will boost enrolments even more, keep the Lyons language programs running if the parents wanted it, and save the community programs that rely on leasing space at the school. I wonder which ALP sponsor will get the development deal?

If only I didn’t have to wait til 2008 to take out my anger in the polling booth.

johnboy johnboy 9:15 am 22 Dec 06

Actually they’ve admitted that they are going to sell them off to developers.

Well, to be more accurate, our brave leader has said he will give no guarantees in that regard.

emd emd 9:13 am 22 Dec 06

I noticed that the Melrose Primary sign has already been ripped down. I just hope that “local graffiti types” can recognise the difference between ex-school property, and the YMCA playgrounds that don’t belong to Urban Services.

By the way, the ACT Govt still hasn’t told the YMCA at Melrose whether they will continue their lease in 2007. Disgusting behaviour from the govt – this is a non-profit group that provide services to the community from babies through to senior citizens. If they don’t get to continue their lease, they will have less than a month to find somewhere to move to. Not an easy job when you have no budget for removals, and can’t afford to pay market rent on commercial premises.

publius publius 8:24 am 22 Dec 06

It was very sad to see upset children and parents on the news last night over the closure of Flynn school. That is the impact of such a scorched earth approach adopted in this years budget. People were put last. The bizarre thing is very little really has been saved in a budget sense. So much pain for so little gain. The reality is many costs will be borne by parents. There will be confusion and anxiety for many communities, with their local school closing. And we are assured the buildings won’t be sold. They will sit there empty for a few years – good targets for the graffiti types. That seems real sensible. As I have raised once before, given it has been a goal for political parties for sometime now to reduce teacher/student ratios, what is wrong with smaller classes? In the recent past Labor pollies trumpet a slight fall in the teacher/student ratios. It was always part of their education policy (Iemma/Bracks/ Rann et al) Do we take it that a ratio of around 1:20 is about right but below that isn’t? Where is the cut off point for a lower ratio becoming a bad thing? Perhaps it is all explained in the secret Functional Review which we will all have a chance to see in 10 years.

emd emd 1:51 pm 21 Dec 06

I don’t see how it’s good for education in the ACT that three adjacent suburbs have no public P-6 school.

I don’t see how it’s good for education that the highest growth suburbs in the Woden district (Chifley and Pearce) now have nothing but a private school on offer. And not even a bus to get them to other public schools in the district.

It’s no wonder the kids are upset.

This could have been made so much easier by closing the first schools at the end of 2007 instead of 2006. That would have enabled parents to have a good think about where to send their kids, schools would have time to adjust their facilities and staff levels to cope with the additional students, and P&C’s wouldn’t be spending their Christmas holidays trying to work out where to send resources that they had bought with their own money.

nyssa76 nyssa76 11:40 am 20 Dec 06

seepi, no because class sizes will increase as there will be 1) more students and 2) less teachers.

Ah the beauty of the ACT Govt, let’s all bask in its radiant glow of good will.

seepi seepi 11:10 am 20 Dec 06

Your point is hard to understand M.
Do you think the school closures will improve English standards in the young?

Maelinar Maelinar 11:05 am 20 Dec 06

Aidan, blind follower of your faith. Do well in your travels, I’m tiring of pointing out obvious comparisons to you.

Just remember, it’s not me you have to convince that the obviously vastly superior Telopea public school which is so good it actually glows in the dark amoung other feats of godlike importance which makes it the object to be revered and held up on a plinth as an example of what is good and beautiful in the world.

It’s the Government.

The Government is disappointed that children are getting out of the school system without fundamental skills such as being able to hold a written conversation in English.

My point, regardless of all this babble about costs, etc la de da has always remained that students are not getting these skills out of the current system.

Put that on your Dias and smoke it, then go along to your shrine of Telopea and worship it, and hopefully the gods of governmental rule will shine on you and bring you prosperity. I also hope that your crops do well next season.

aidan aidan 10:20 am 20 Dec 06

Oops. “I’m not I made myself understood” = “I’ve not made myself understood” in previous comment.

aidan aidan 10:18 am 20 Dec 06


Weston is ringed by private schools (Orana, St Judes and the new Canberra Montessori School). Weston Primary would find it hard to compete as the schools cover a broad spectrum of educational preference.

It is because there is no longer a school in every suburb that it is very important to consider school closures carefully. To make sure that, where possible, equity of access is maintained. The Chifley example is a good one. Combining Lyons and Melrose Primary schools on the Melrose site would have provided the most number of kids with reasonable access to school.


The French Australian Preschool is a separate entity to Telopea school and the fees charged are in line with private preschools. Actually they seem quite cheap. Burgmann Anglican School charges $44/day (= $8880 for 40 weeks a year).

I’m not I made myself understood about the ACT Govt’s costings provided to the community. Any funds provided to the school (from P&C, Federales, whatever) was counted as a cost even though it did not come from ACT Government coffers. This was included in the cost per student figures that the Govt. splashed all over the ads that they put out at the time. This is important, as it penalised schools with active P&Cs who supported the school. This is particularly so with small schools, as the cost per student is more sensitive to small changes in the total budget because it is spread over relatively few students e.g. say the P&C raises money for an all weather cover over the playground which costs $50K. In a school of 100 that would increase the Government’s cost per student by $500, but in a school of 400 the increase would only be $125 per student.

miz miz 9:36 pm 19 Dec 06

The comment from Wendy (original link) is noteworthy. Her family have have moved here to ‘live in Canberra!’ – then the govt closes the local school. And now she won’t be able to get the bus to work. Stanhopeless.

seepi seepi 7:47 pm 19 Dec 06

darklady – i think students would be Outputs. Or praps Inputs. Or even (ick) Customers.

nyssa76 nyssa76 6:56 pm 19 Dec 06

Oh and at Telopea there are diplomatic families, middle and upper class families as well as those on the lower side of the fence.

None pay huge fees.

Telopea has a French/English program from K-6 and then the students have a choice of either the French or English streams. All “core” subjects are taught in that language.

nyssa76 nyssa76 6:53 pm 19 Dec 06

Telopea students are SUBSIDISED by the French Govt, that’s why the costs are down.

It isn’t $4000 to send your child to Telopea. Govt schools can’t have compulsory fees.

Maelinar Maelinar 6:05 pm 19 Dec 06

Aidan, it was a guess.

Take a look at this site though

Your ‘couple of hundred’ will buy you 2 weeks at the bilingual preschool.

seepi seepi 5:48 pm 19 Dec 06

There hasn’t been a school in every suburb for decades. There is now no school anywhere near Weston, and only the Lyons P-2 near Chifley. There is also no bus that goes into the suburb of Chifley.

I don’t see what all this talk about French has to do with anything. Although I would imagine that schools with high aspirations such as teaching languages are also very good on the basics such as the English language. And it is well known that language learning is best done when very young.

It can’t improve scholatory (!?) standards to reduce education options.

Swaggie Swaggie 5:43 pm 19 Dec 06

Meanwhile the much talked about ‘open day’ this afternoon (1-5pm) for all ACT Public Schools seems to have escaped the notice of one reprieved school where we rocked up to find the doors locked at 3.45. So much for us having priority enrollment status.

aidan aidan 4:48 pm 19 Dec 06


Where did $4k come from? I just talked to someone who sent their kids to Telopea until recently and they didn’t have anything like that for a ‘voluntary contribution’. More like the few hundred as is the norm these days.

Maelinar Maelinar 4:32 pm 19 Dec 06

Aidan, the single mother who’s busting her ass to send her child to Telopea who gets hit for a $4k bill every year tells me another story.

Outside funds contributed to schools has a grey relationship to inside funds donated by parents. I know full well how the system works to downgrade the books.

aidan aidan 4:28 pm 19 Dec 06


A sane person would think that outside funds would defray the costs to the ACT government (as calculated in their figures). In fact, all outside funds contributed to schools (for shade sails, federal government grants etc) were counted as costs in the Government balance sheets.

I know. Beggars belief.

So, there goes that theory. Care to try another?

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