Recess, closure and amalgamations of schools

Small Schools Newsletter, September 2015

Good news
It is welcome news that Tulloona Public school, following community campaigning and a consolidation of student numbers, is to be brought out of recess and recommence operations.

Closure of public schools in NSW inquiry
The transcript of the August 20 hearing for the NSW Upper House inquiry into the closure of small schools is available here. Submissions to the inquiry were made by community groups, local government representatives and Federation, click here to download.

Correct procedures when school is under threat of closure
The closure of a school impacts on a community. Federation urges all small school communities who may come under threat of closure to acquaint themselves with the document Protocols for schools where recess, closure, amalgamation or other educational provision models are to be considered in order that they are aware of the correct procedures involved along with their right to consultation and transparency.

It is important to note that prior to Federation negotiating changes to the Protocols for schools where recess, closure, amalgamation or other educational provision models are to be considered, community concerns had been raised about the consultation process around school closures. The Newcastle Herald (August 24) article "Closure implied for Martins Creek School" outlines a response from Department of Education Secretary Michele Bruniges to Greens MP John Kaye regarding an email when a director wrote "unless a great storm strikes the school will close". Mr Kaye suggested this behaviour was not professional and asked the Secretary what she would do about it. The article quotes her reply as "I made it very clear to public servants that consultation is consultation and until the Minister takes a decision, no decision is made."

Growing list of school closures
Many teachers started their careers as teachers in charge in small schools dotted across NSW. Most of those communities and their schools continue to prosper. Unfortunately, circumstances and demographics change, communities wither, services disappear and finally their school closes. It is interesting and perhaps nostalgic to mention here the schools which have closed over the years. Some of our small schools members may pause to reflect on times spent in any of these listed schools. Others among us must remain vigilant that all required components of process are followed and seen to be followed if a school is threatened with recess or closure.
 

1 Spencer Public School  March 2, 2015
2 Crowdy Head Public School September 10, 2014
3 Badgerys Creek Public School December 16, 2014
4 Bellimbopinni Public School September 10, 2014
5 Corinella Public School December 1, 2014
6 Ellangowan Public School September 12, 2014
7 Eraring Public School December 17, 2014
8 Errowanbang Public School December 8, 2014
9 Gateshead West Public School November 5, 2014
10 Milbrulong Public School December 9, 2014
11 Reids Flat Public School December 17, 2014
12 Rouchel Public School November 5, 2014
13 Sutton Forest Public School December 9, 2014
14 Windeyer Public School             December 19, 2014
15 Wollombi Public School November 10, 2014
16 Wyong Grove Public School December 17, 2014
17 Mooney Mooney Public School July 15, 2008
18 Grong Grong Public School December 17, 2013
19 Byabarra Public School October 15, 2012
20 Pearces Creek Public School October 24, 2012
21 Mangoplah Public School December 18, 2012
22 Mallan Public School January 14, 2013
23 Woodford Dale Public School January 14, 2013
24 Ando Public School June 13, 2012
25 Bilbul Public School February 28, 2012
26 Bega West Public School January 27, 2012
27 Dooralong Public School November 30, 2011
28 Limbri Public School August 9, 2009
29 Ghinni Ghinni Public School August 24, 2010
30 Baan Baa Public School June 17, 2009
31 Byrock Public School June 17, 2009
32 Galong Public School April 9, 2009
33 Gumly Gumly Public School December 19, 2007
34 Coolabah Public School December 18, 2008
35 Kirkconnell Public School December 18, 2007
36 Moonan Flat Public School December 18, 2007
37 Berrilee Public School December 13, 2007
38 Warkworth Public School May 8, 1998
39 Wards River Public School January 12, 1998
40 The Lagoon Public School November 1, 2011
41 Wongwibinda Public School September 23, 2011
42 Newbridge Public School July 29, 2011
43 Grevillia Public School July 12, 2011
44 Bendick Murrell Public School June 15, 2011
45 Rookhurst Public School January 13, 2011
46 Mallanganee Public School November 24, 2010
47 Burcher Public School November 24, 2010
48 Balldale Public School November 24, 2010
49 Yarramalong Public School October 13, 2010
50 Burraboi Public School October 13, 2010
51 Williamtown Public School August 24, 2010
52 Nanima Public School May 3, 2010
53 Nevertire Public School May 13, 2009
54 Pyramul Public School December 23, 1999
55 Five Mile Tree Public School November 24, 2010
56 Berkeley South Public School November 24, 2010
57 Jackadgery Public School February 11, 2009
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