27 April 2017
Member for Ballina and Greens Spokesperson for Education, Tamara Smith has congratulated the Coorabell P&C Association and students, teachers and parents for their incredible organisation and proactiveness on the issues facing Coorabell Public School over the past 18 months.
“Last year the school was told to shrink its roll by up to 65% and that no 2017 out-of-zone enrolments could be accepted, including siblings of students already at the school,” said Ms Smith.
“This was an appalling and shocking way to engage with the community around such a sensitive issue. I’ve been able to support the school community in gaining transitional arrangements and a two year reprieve.
“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.
“I worked closely with the P&C, and was proud to make representations to the Department and Minister for Education on their behalf. I attended meetings with the Department of Education and stakeholders which ultimately resulted in change.
“Coorabell Public School was originally told at the end of last year it had to lower its student enrolments to 47 students, refuse to accept new out-of-zone enrolments and that no siblings of current out-of-zone students would be enrolled in future. This was an incredibly irresponsible way to go about enforcing Department of Education policy and caused enormous anxiety to parents.”
“Although there is still work to be done, the Coorabell P&C, principal and community have been able to gain assurances from the Department of Education that their maximum enrolment number is 95 and that siblings of children currently enrolled can continue to enrol at Coorabell for 2018 and 2019.”