Murwillumbah’s four public schools will be amalgamated into a single Kindergarten to Year 12 campus at Murwillumbah High, the state government has announced.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell announced today that Murwillumbah Public School, Murwillumbah East Public School, Murwillumbah High School and Wollumbin High School will be combined to form a single $100 million Murwillumbah Education Campus.
Ms Mitchell said the new mega school would cater to up to 1,500 students, and follow a four-year rebuilding project.
She pledged that no permanent teaching jobs would be lost, and spruiked the ‘community benefits’ of the plan, including the possible joint use of sporting, arts and health facilities.
‘The new Murwillumbah Education Campus will truly be at the heart of the community, and I look forward to seeing it take shape over the next few years,’ Ms Mitchell said.
However, local state and Federal Labor members are up in arms over the announcement, which they say effectively involves the closure of three schools.
Labor Member for the State Seat of Lismore, Janelle Saffin said the snap announcement required full and frank consultation with teaching staff, the NSW Teachers Federation and Parents and Citizens Associations.
‘NSW Labor obtained a briefing paper to Minister Mitchell which reveals that the amalgamation of four schools to form the MEC in 2024 will change the staffing allocation and potentially displace some teaching and support staff,’ Ms Saffin said.
‘I am seeking a guarantee from the NSW Government that all current teaching and support staff jobs will be retained under this shake-up of public education in Murwillumbah because this cannot be implemented as a cruel cost-cutting exercise; it must be about improved educational outcomes.
‘I am seeking guarantees that any proposed change is only ever based on the needs of our children. That means better educational services and opportunities, state-of-the-art teaching facilities, and better support for students with disabilities.
‘I also am seeking a guarantee that public land stays in public hands and is not flogged off to private developers.’
The project’s next steps include planning and design. Community engagement will be ongoing throughout the duration of the project.