Another HSC community meeting - 24/10/11

HSC will be holding another Community Meeting – 7.30 Monday, 24 October, 2011 hosted by Coburg Primary School. HSC's last community meeting was a real success with parents from seven different primary schools attending. There were also many parents there whose children are not even at school yet. Everyone was very engaged with the issue and the meeting room buzzed with comments, ideas, questions and a few answers!
Do come along and we can all share our experiences, concerns and ideas regarding the lack of a local state secondary school for all the children leaving our primary schools. Coburg Primary representatives will speak, HSC will do an update and then we will take our lead from the parents as to what direction the meeting takes.
HSC will have on hand copies of our three reports:
  • High School for Coburg Survey Report 2009 
  • High School for Coburg Survey Report May 2011: Options for State Secondary Provision in Coburg 
  • HSC Interim Schools Data Collection Report Oct 2011: More Primary School Children – Fewer Secondary Options

To quote Richard Teese, a professor of education at the University of Melbourne, in the Age last year -

“a new wave of aspirational, mobilised parents, who are not particularly religious and do not want to send their children to private schools, are demanding good, public education. ‘‘This is a really big opportunity for whatever state government we have to renovate the public system by building on the good will and cultural capital of these parents.’’

The parents and broader community involved in and supporting HSC need to be recognised as an asset not an inconvenience. The energy we put into our local primary schools and the ever stronger primary school network that is resulting from our campaign could also flow into a fantastic local high school which would be a vital part of our community and allow the much touted Family-School-Community Partnership to flourish for the betterment not just of our children’s education but our community as a whole. Our ideas, energy, school and community connections could also be of great assistance to the under-enrolled, low local profile and not-community-connected Coburg Senior High.

Walk to No School Day

On 19 October 2011, HSC held our Walk to No School Day. Victoria Walks to School Day also happened to be exactly one year since the DEECD’s Spatial Vision Report showing the need for further provision for Coburg and surrounds – a year of no action. Before Walk to No School Day we had coverage in the Moreland Leader and the Herald Sun -you can read and leave comments at both articles. We were very amused by Ivor from Coburg’s comment under the Herald Sun article – “The DEECD should be renamed the Department of Reviews of the Bleeding Obvious”!
As HSC have said before, the need for secondary education provision has been clearly established by the department’s own demographic study.The Minister for Education, Martin Dixon has acknowledged that need in parliament  and the community have very clearly shown their support for HSC’s preferred provision option – the under utilized Coburg Senior High site. There is no need for any more numbers reviews – what must happen now is a good look at the preferred provision option, a timely decision and then commencement of provision planning.
The Walk to No School Day was great fun – watermelon, lots of families, balloons, colourful banners and enthusiastic Bell Street drivers cheering us on and Honking for a High School!

Upcoming events

Walk to No School Day
HSC have organised a short walk starting at the old Coburg High site to highlight the lack of a local state secondary school option for children leaving our local primary schools. Meet at Bridges Reserve near the Coburg Leisure Centre at 4.15 pm on 19 October 2011. There will be helium balloons children and young at heart! See Facebook event page.
walk to no school

Please feel free to download and distribute the above poster. Scribd will ask you to sign in but you can also save and download by right clicking.

HSC Community Meeting hosted by Coburg Primary School
HSC will be holding another Community meeting. It is being hosted by Coburg Primary School from 7.30 to 9.30 pm, Monday 24 October 2011. It is at Coburg Primary School, corner of Bell and Russell Streets. See Facebook event page

Come along and share your thoughts, concerns and ideas regarding the lack of a local secondary school option for our children. HSC will provide updates recent developments including our recent report - "More Primary School Children -Fewer Secondary Options." 

HSC extend our thanks Coburg Primary School for hosting this community event.
HSC community meeting hosted by Coburg primary School

Please feel free to download and distribute the above poster. Scribd will ask you to sign in but you can also save and download by right clicking.

More local primary school children - Fewer secondary school options

On Wednesday 14 September 2011, at a meeting with the Partnerships Division of the DEECD Office for Government Schools and High School for Coburg (HSC), the DEECD Northern Region stated that “The numbers at local primary schools have not increased by much.”

HSC spent the next two weeks phoning local schools to update our 2009 work which showed the wave of children coming through local primary schools.

This is what we found: 
  • Nearly all schools called have roughly 100% more children in Prep than grade 6 
  • The number of children enrolled in Prep at ten local schools increased by 48% from 2008 to 2011
  • Every school except the two capped schools showed an increase in Prep enrolments
  • This increase in Prep enrolments from 2008 to 2011 was close to 200 children 
  • Total enrolment at nine local primary schools has increased by 25% from 2008 to 
  • The increase in total enrolments was more than 500 children 
This information has been collated into a report - High School for Coburg Interim Schools Data Collection Report, October 2011 which you can read by clicking on the link. 
Prep enrolment changes 2008-2011
In January 2011 the General Manager of the Partnerships Division of the Office for Government School Education, DEECD wrote to HSC at the behest of Minister Dixon.(read letter here). This letter outlined the work which would be done throughout 2011 to look at secondary provision options in Coburg.

HSC believe that this year the Partnerships Division came to the view that HSC have a very strong case and that the Coburg Senior High site is the best provision option but it has been hard to move the process forward, partly due to departmental restructures and the turnover of DEECD managerial staff.

After a call from the Minister's advisor and the subsequent meeting with the DEECD Partnerships Division and the Northern Region, it became apparent that there has been no formal action in the year since the Spatial Vision Report came out showing the significant secondary education provision shortfall in Coburg. Having effectively sat on the report for a year the DEECD has said the report is a bit old now and we could begin a new process based around waiting for yet more numbers.

HSC and many other key people involved in the Spatial Vision Report's inception say "What more evidence is needed?"

HSC have strongly recommended that the next action be to look at provision options -as per the January letter - in particular the Coburg Senior High site favoured by roughly two thirds of respondents to our survey in May this year. Unhappily we find ourselves temporarily back having the numbers argument but not surprisingly HSC's latest on-the-ground data gathering effort only adds to the avalanche of evidence for the affirmative!