Reprieve for local school
AFTER a sustained campaign the Coorabell Public School community has managed, with the support of Member for Ballina and Greens spokesperson for education, Tamara Smith, to put a hold on a Department of Education directive to drastically shrink its roll.
The directive if carried out would have seen the school shrink by up to 65% with no 2017 out-of-zone enrolments accepted, including siblings of students already at the school.
Ms Smith congratulated the School's P&C Association, students, teachers and parents for their, "incredible organisation and pro-activity on the issues facing the over the past 18 months.”
Ms Smith made representations to the Department of Education helped in gaining transitional arrangements and a two year reprieve.
A spokesperson from Coorabell P&C said, "Tamara Smith's strong support of keeping Coorabell Public School a thriving successful public school has been really appreciated by the parents and the school community.”
"The past 18 months have been really hard - students, families and teachers have been negatively affected by the Department's unexpected requirement that we reduce the number of enrolled students
from 136 to 47 (a reduction to nearly a third our current size).
"The school community is united in our simple aim to maintain our school as it is...we believe Coorabell PS is a shining example of public education at its finest.
"We acknowledge there appears to be historical zoning issues that need to be urgently addressed and we are pleased that the department of education has finally demonstrated some flexibility around the issue.
Coorabell Public School has a proud 125 year history.
" We've got six classrooms accommodating 130 happy kids, a great principal, and 6 amazing teachers who together achieve excellent educational and social outcomes.”
Ms Smith said, "Although there is still work to be done, the Coorabell P&C, principal and community have been able to gain assurances from the department that their maximum enrolment number is 95 and that siblings of children currently enrolled can continue to enrol at Coorabell for 2018 and 2019.”
"As we know Coorabell Public School is a nationally acclaimed school and it is very hard to understand the rather arbitrary zoning and enrolment number policies of the Department of Education and Communities.
"This was an incredibly irresponsible way to go about enforcing Department of Education policy and caused enormous anxiety to parents.”