The challenge to the NSW Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell that she had sprung the Murwillumbah mega-school on the community with no consultation and needed to seek further genuine consultation with the Murwillumbah community has been rebuffed.
The Save Our Schools (SOS) group had asked the Minister to come back to the community to consult with them and meet her obligations under NSW education protocols that had been introduced by the then NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli in 2015.
However, the Minister’s office responded saying that, ‘There is considerable support in the community for the amalgamation of Murwillumbah Public School, Murwillumbah East Public School, Murwillumbah High School and Wollumbin High School to form the proposed Murwillumbah Education Campus, and how this project will benefit current and future students.’
‘The Murwillumbah Education Campus will include a separate primary and high school on the one site,’ a NSW Education spokesperson told The Echo.
Workshops and consultation
‘As part of the consultation process for this project, NSW Department ran workshops in all four schools, with each school’s P&C groups asking parents and carers to identify what they felt was needed to best support the two schools in culture, student wellbeing, facilities and other issues that the parents felt were important to engage in the planning of the facilities.
‘School Infrastructure NSW (SINSW) provided a community wide survey and ran a week long “hub” in the local area for community members to further engage in the project.
‘SINSW presented to all four P&C groups the initial masterplan of the proposed Campus, after significant consultation with school leaders, teachers and students,’ they said.
‘The principals of the four schools and both local education directors were consulted of the proposed amalgamations prior to the announcement. All are unanimous in their recognition of the benefits of this project to students.
‘School staff have had the opportunity to express their views, concerns, and support in appropriate, school based forums consistent with their responsibilities as employees. ‘
‘All correspondence received by NSW Education in relation to this project has been respectfully addressed and responded to.
‘The consultation processes will continue as the project develops.’