Letter from Bronwyn Pike

by Catherine Hall

We recently received a letter from Bronwyn Pike in response to an email I sent to Kelvin Thomson in April 2009. Similar letters were sent to Bronwyn Pike, Christine Campbell and John Brumby.

This response is more detailed and considered than earlier stock responses so High School for Coburg (HSC) feel we are beginning to have an impact.

The letter is notable for the following reasons:

As always the list of suggested schools families from this region could use does not include a local all access state high school. Interestingly Thornbury High School has been added to that list. This high school is very good but too far away. HSC have highlighted the work of Stephen Lamb (a well respected researcher used by the department see - School Reform and Inequality in Urban Australia A Case of Residualizing the Poor-Stephen Lamb 2007 and an article in the Age about this book) which shows it is very unlikely that people from the Coburg region will be sending their children up to Fawkner Secondary College or Box Forest College. We believe this is why the education department has thrown Thornbury High School into the mix.

The minister states the number required for a new school is 1000-1100 enrolments in the long term. HSC has access to the recent population projections done for Moreland council which seem to show Coburg alone, let alone the region HSC represents would supply these numbers. Coburg's population is set to grow from 22 000 to 33 000

The minister talks about Brunswick High School missing out on funding which would have resulted in additional places at that capped and effectively zoned school. Talking about what could have been does seem a little odd.

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