Schools in region face scrutiny from State Government
LOCAL schools could be under threat after the State Government announced up to 55 schools, including 14 in the Far North, could be closed.
Enrolment, accessibility, curriculum and resourcing equity will be looked at throughout Queensland and any schools which do not meet the criteria will have their viability analysed.
This includes rural and remote primary schools with with five or less students, or 15 students or less within 20km of a nearby school.
In the Douglas region, Daintree and Mt Molloy State Schools fit this criteria, causing concern among community members.
Mt Molloy principal Janene Harrison said it is good to have a school in the township of Mt Molloy and there’s huge support from the parents and wider community.
‘‘We haven’t got any confirmation, no schools have been named apart from Brisbane, but we will cross that bridge if and when we get to it,’’ she said.
‘‘We have a great school, happy kids and a happy community.’’
Daintree principal Jonathan Gagen said their school is essential for students who already travel a fair distance for their education.
‘‘We have got students who are coming down from further down the line that have to cross a few rivers to get down the road, they’d miss out on certain days of schools if the school was not there,’’ he said.
‘‘The school is a hub for the community, I have been talking to community members that have been here many years and it’s a lot of the same things when it was closed and was going to be closed a few years ago.’’
Cook MP David Kempton said he will be discussing with Education Minister JohnPaul Langbroek factors to consider about the region before making any decisions.
‘‘Access, services and distance to travel to schools are factors I will be taking up personally with the Minister to make him aware,’’ he said.
‘‘The same criteria in cities does not apply in rural and remote areas.’’
The Minister said each school will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account local circumstances.
‘‘If we consider a school to be unviable, we will consult with the community abut the possible closure of the school and the relocation of students,’’ he said.