Overlooked in education pledges

This letter appeared in The Age today.

FOLLOWING education pledges by the state government, Coburg - the north's secondary education black hole - is now ringed by regeneration. The Coburg Initiative - Australia's largest urban renewal project - is set to bring more than 8000 people to the area in two decades. Yet a state secondary school is already a requirement, according to a new draft framework.
That a recent Education Department report identified a significant secondary provision shortfall in the north came as no surprise to Coburgians - 53 per cent of whom are considering moving away because of the issue, according to a survey by High School for Coburg.
Although this area generates up to 10 times more state secondary students than surrounding school catchments, it doesn't have a high school.
An indication of local support is the almost $20,000 that business and community have pledged to the HSC civic fund launched this month. Pledges to the potential school would be matched by the government, through its Business Working with Education Foundation.
This government must pledge to re-establish open-entry state secondary provision during the next term.

Catherine Hall, Coburg North

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