As reported in the The Age on Friday 30th March there has been an ironic twist in the long sad story of the Education Black Hole. The old Coburg High site on Bell Street has come up for sale just as a report looking at the need for a new Coburg High is being updated for the Minister for Education!
The DEECD are due to hand a report to Martin Dixon which will include a 'refresh' of the 2010 Spatial Vision report which was commissioned by Bronwyn Pike to determine whether demographics support the provision of a new stand alone school. The updated report will be based in part on updated Moreland and Darebin population forecasts by id who provide demographic information. These show a greatly increased number of secondary school age persons in our area and much sooner than in the 2010 report.
The report to Minister Dixon will also include an independant report based on the work of a consultant who spoke to 23 school principals and school council presidents throughout February 2012.
This comment was received from Robin, a Coburg parent on HSC's recent Facebook poll that asked "Would your children attend a government open entry high school in Coburg?"
Yes! We would like Coburg Senior High returned to a year 7-12 high school so that our kids can continue their education journey within our local community and along side friends from our primary school & the local neighbourhood. It is beyond belief that we have a fantastic secondary school (CSHS) which could benefit so many, being wasted on a few.....the boarded up windows on the lower levels on the buildings bring tears to my eyes when I ride my bike thru the school grounds - such wonderful resources & infrastructure allowed to rot while the need for a school continues to grow. What is the political agenda that allows this to be the case? Why do the powers that be think it's a good idea for Coburg to be without a high school?
Also on the subject of the Coburg Senior High School this is a letter from parent Giles Brading to MP Kelvin Thomson in March 2012.
I contact you with great concern for what I am witnessing in regard to the Secondary School education offered within the Moreland area.
I am aware of the High School for Coburg movement and agree in entirety with their objective but find it hard to believe that any action will be made before my son requires a secondary education in 2015.
My greatest concern is focused on the existing Coburg Senior High School.
I attach an article published April 2007 in the Herald Sun launching the school, its revolutionary teaching style and wealthy resources.
The paragraph of greatest concern is "The school opened this year with 45 year-10 students and will eventually accommodate 900 year 10-12 students."
Today the school has been open for nearly 5 years and has under 300 students.
The word "eventually' used in the context of this article would suggest to me that within 5 years it would be fair to make the assumption that the 900 student capacity be reached.
That leaves a gap of 600 students. I'm starting to sense that Coburg Senior High School does not come under the jurisdiction of a normal Government school?
How can it be that a government built facility paid for, maintained and operated by tax payer funds is being allowed to continue under capacity in an almost elitist manner?
Did you know that to apply for a place at Coburg Senior High School it is necessary to complete two online interview processes and that you will be contacted if you are a 'person' of interest?
Did you know that Coburg Senior High School only holds two open days per year for prospective students?
I can only conclude from what I have seen and read that Coburg Senior High School must be a fantastic place to be a teacher, with a small number of students and a strict intake criteria, doesn't sound like a government school to me!
Nothing in regard to the High School is transparent. When will it reach capacity? how much funding does it receive? and why is it so select in its entry?
Your knowledge and comment on my concerns would be much appreciated