Letter from Christine Campbell to the Moreland Leader

The letter below is from Christine Campbell MP to the editor of the Moreland Leader, clarifying her position and calling for Year 7 to commence at Coburg Senior High School. You can view the original letter here.

September 8

The Editor
Moreland Leader
Fax:9481 2083

Dear Editor,

I wish to clarify for your reader, my call for Coburg Senior High School to be expanded to a 7-12 years secondary school. When CSHS opened in 2007 the initial three year plan was for 900 students in years 10-12 by 2010 - this equates to 300 students per year level. School facilities have been designed and developed accordingly. The schools website shows the latest enrolment figure as 207.

I have been advised that Department of Education guidelines require a critical mass of 200 students per year level for a new school to be considered. Analysis by Moreland City Council of population projection data supports the need for a high school but analysis of the same data by the Department of Education concludes that there is not a need. It is vital that we have the correct figures.

Currently, based on the most conservative analysis of the figures, there would be enough year 7 students seeking enrolment at a Coburg high school in 2011 to establish at least two classes, an approach consistent with the process approved by the education department for the commencement of CSHS. As with CSHS, the number of classes in subsequent years would increase. Incidentally, this would also assist VCE numbers at CSHS.

It can be concluded that with so much space already available at Coburg Senior High School and the Department's previous flexibility with their enrolment guidelines that the opportunity is there to meet the needs of the community. It would follow that Year would start in 2012 and Year 9 in 2013. The existing facilities are brand new, state of the art and designed to be expanded as enrolments require.

This is why I have written to the Minister for Education requesting that provisions be made for a Year 7 intake in January 2011 at the current CSHS site.

My constituents, particularly those in Coburg and many in Pascoe Vale are not eligible for enrolment in their closest secondary school and Pascoe Vale Girls College is under considerable pressure with a long waiting list. I will continue to bring my constituents' concerns to the Minister's attention.

Yours sincerely

Hon Christine Campbell
Member for Pascoe Vale

School zones

by Darren Saffin

It is time to clear up the issue of school zones that has been muddying the waters recently in the Moreland Leader. Carlo Carli says in his letter to the Moreland Leader that right now different schools are having their pick of students from outside their zones and drawing many local students away (of course because there is no local school). He then talks about parents losing their rights to send their children to other schools if a new Coburg High School was to be built because zones would change.

On the website of the Department of Education is a resource called The Victorian Government Schools Reference Guide. In section 4.1 are the guidelines to what schools children can attend - It in no way, shape or form denies any child the right to apply to attend any school anywhere in Melbourne.

Section says:

A child resident in the neighbourhood area has a right to attend the school if that is the wish of the parents/guardians. If the parents/guardians do not wish the child to attend either the neighbourhood school or the same school being attended by a brother or sister who resides at the same address, they have the right to choose any other school in which space is available.

A new school in Coburg won’t change this fact or affect parent’s rights and will offer another choice for parents. Parents can apply to send their children to any school and the children will be able to attend any school they are accepted into.

End of story.