Following decades of school building maintenance neglect, the NSW Teachers Federation believes the State Government is now inflicting punishment on children and their families in the Murwillumbah community by its decision to amalgamate local schools.
NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said three out of the four public schools in the Murwillumbah area are targeted for closure. The Government’s announcement comes on top of the funding and course cuts to Murwillumbah TAFE.
“Public education provision for the citizens of Murwillumbah is under attack, Mr Rajendra said.
“The closure of public schools is the precondition for the government to sell off public land.”
“Worse still, the decision to close the three schools was made with zero consultation with parents and teachers. The community has been blindsided and ambushed by this government announcement.”
“This is simply an ‘economies of scale’ decision that will increase class sizes and cut teacher numbers.”
Mr Rajendra said teachers supported school facility upgrades but not at the expense of closing public schools.
“The temerity of the government to firstly rundown our school buildings due to decades of maintenance neglect and then think we would welcome the closing of the same schools for the sake of an upgrade to another is offensive, divisive and mean,” he said.
“All local public schools need and deserve major building upgrades. Indeed, should the government take notice of the needs of our community, they would instead be broadening public school provision in Murwillumbah by building public preschools on all existing public primary school sites.”
“Teachers are outraged. We will work with parents and the broader community to oppose these closures.”
“We call on the NSW Government to bring this whole matter to an immediate halt and engage with local parents and teachers before any further action is taken. It would be the decent and respectful thing to do. Our children deserve better treatment than this.”
Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079