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Media Release 13 October 2009 - Flynn considers further action on school closures

Tuesday October 13, 2009

Following the scathing findings of the School Closure Inquiry, the Flynn Primary School Parents and Citizens Association is calling on the Greens to stand up for communities in the upcoming sittings of the Assembly, by supporting the re-opening of Flynn, Hall, Tharwa and Cook schools.

“The school closure process has been reviewed and found to be severely flawed but so far the Assembly Inquiry has failed to recommend solutions in keeping with the severity of its findings and the evidence on school closures,” according to Roger Nicoll, President of the Flynn Primary School P&C Association.

“As Labor is refusing to re-open any schools, it now falls on the Greens to follow through on their election promises to reassess the closures, to support communities and to keep the government accountable.”

“Flynn acknowledges the Greens strong support for a community centre at Flynn, but given the Inquiry’s findings, we ask that the Greens would champion the community’s expressed need for a school as part of that community centre.”

“The Standing Committee running the School Closure Inquiry reported serious flaws in the data and research assumptions upon which closures were based, a total absence of a social impact study, an unacceptable consultation process, and a conflict of interest within the Chief Minister’s office.” Mr Nicoll said.

One very serious finding shows that the widely challenged assumptions made by the Education Minister about school size and viability were indeed contradicted by the research he quoted. This was confirmed by the testimony of the report’s author Professor Brian Caldwell.

“Considering such serious findings and the weight of evidence presented, we expected a much stronger response from the Committee, including recommendations for at least Flynn and Cook Primary Schools to re-open in addition to Hall and Tharwa.

“The dissenting view of the Liberal Party member on the Standing Committee recommended re-opening these four schools and received strong community support, but this recommendation appears to have been swamped by the Government’s political agenda.

“Flynn P&C is considering other options and may call for an independent review of school closures if the next sessions of the Assembly fail to deliver fair outcomes to the community.”

See www.flynn.org.au

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