Merger of Middle and Senior schools

p2215-Robyn-Lambley-SMLETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – I am  concerned by the revelation today by the Minister for Education, Peter Chandler, that the Government has commenced a process to merge the Centralian Middle School and the Centralian Senior School in Alice Springs.

 

Reluctantly under questioning in Budget Estimates, the Minister for Education provided details of a plan to implement a “dual campus” model for public high schools in Alice Springs, as well as in Palmerston.

 

The Minister said that the Education Department has done “modelling” on this concept.

 

He said “there has been a lot of work done behind the scenes”.

 

He said that the motivation for exploring this new model was that the separate middle school and senior school model of providing high school services has proven to be inefficient.

 

In the Budget Estimates hearings today I warned the Education Minister of the painful experience of creating the middle school model in Alice Springs over 10 years ago.

 

This involved the closing of the Anzac Hill High School and creating one middle school at the old Alice Springs High School, now known as the Centralian Middle School, and the creation of the Centralian Senior College at the Charles Darwin University Campus.

 

The transition process to that model in 2005 was very painful for the town, affecting families, past and present students, teachers and the community at large.

 

It took many years for this new model to become accepted and effective. I warned that this past experience of implementing a major restructure of high schools in Alice Springs should be considered very carefully when considering another complete restructure of the high school system in Alice Springs.

 

It must be done in full consultation with the community. Minister Chandler also informed the Estimates Hearing that the new Dual Campus Model will likely be implemented from the start of the new school year in 2017.

 

This allows just six months for the Government to convince the people of Alice Springs that this will be a positive change with the potential to improve student outcomes and provide a more efficient high school education system.

 

I am concerned that the Government will ultimately try to implement this restructure of high schools in Alice Springs quickly without proper consideration of all the ramifications of such a dramatic change.

 

Most Alice Springs people will hear about these plans today and will start to worry about how this will affect their children, their family and their future in Alice Springs.

 

Robyn Lambley MLA (pictured)

Independent Member for Araluen

 

 

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2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Ian Sharp
    Posted June 26, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    What does this dual campus model involve, does anyone know? Is there a link available to a website outlining the model and the reasons for the change?

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  2. Phil Walcott
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    With just nine weeks until the Legislative Assembly election (August 27), why is the incumbent government rolling out this idea (“under pressure” via the Estimates process) when indications are they are not going to be in power to implement the proposed changes?
    Do they have poly-partisan support around this notion? Will more be revealed on Monday’s final sitting day before the election?
    Why do they not take the notion of a dual campus model to the people in Alice Springs and Palmerston as an election undertaking?
    To visit this now, without due consultation with community shareholders and educational leaders at all levels of “the system” is short-sighted and ill-considered.
    I trust that the electorates involved will receive much more information and exposure to the critical-thinking associated with this idea over the next 63 days so the people can make an informed choice at the ballot box.
    School holidays begin today around the Territory. That knocks out four of the nine weeks in which to engage.
    Let the people decide.

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