EDUCATION Minister Martin Dixon has criticised his own department’s handling of the decision to axe the alternative Steiner stream at Footscray City Primary, saying the way parents found out was ”not good…
FOOTSCRAY City Primary School parents are still battling the Department of Education’s decision to axe the school’s Steiner program…
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We have been advised by the DEECD that our term as your councilors has been terminated. The DEECD were clear that this has nothing to do with our past performance as councilors, rather it related to our capacity to support the school in its transition to a single stream school. This view was formed because of our strong opposition to the decision to remove Steiner from the school. Not withstanding our personal positions on this, we were legally obliged to oppose it as an overwhelming majority of the school community is against what has occurred. For those of you who have stood up in opposition to this decision, well done, as our message is well and truly out in the public sphere and the repercussions are yet to be fully felt by those behind it.
Whilst we believe the process and morality of this decision to be highly dubious, we accept it as the reality. For anyone interested, we have published a variant of our last submission to the Minister, which can be downloaded from SaveFCPS.org.
For those staying at Footscray City, we wish you and the school well and look forward to participating in, or hearing of its wonderful achievements. For anyone moving to another school, the department is yet to make clear what material support will be provided in this difficult transition and this is being followed up by Tim. Any of you who wish to pursue the possibility of establishing another dual stream school in the west should contact the Western Region Waldorf Education Foundation convener, Noel Attard on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early the week after next, we propose to hold a town hall at the Pilgrim Uniting Church to talk through the options and alternatives available. A notice will go out as soon as the date and time is confirmed.
Your parent elected, bureaucratically dismissed school council.
An Education Department edict to end the Steiner program at an inner-west primary seems to contradict a state government push to make schools more autonomous.
Thank you all for the terrific group hug of the school on Friday. The hearts with children’s messages were all gathered and presented to the Honourable Minister of Education, Martin Dixon today when four school councillors: Tim Sharkey (President), Andrew Johnson (aka Snowy, Vice-President), Fleur Hammet, and Anna Ritman, met with the Hon Minister Dixon and his advisors this morning (21/11/2011).
The Minister’s office acknowledged the FCPS school community’s submissions and dealings with their office as “reasonable and constructive”, and were appreciative of the way the Council and community have conducted themselves.
The Minister’s office has requested an independent review of the facts, regarding the cessation of the Steiner stream and proposal to terminate the term of school council, as presented in submissions by DEECD and school council.
The school councillors welcome the review and the Minister’s interest in our school and its Dual Stream program. We expect to hear from the Minister’s office late this week with regard to outcomes from the review and next steps.
We believe the Minister appreciates the incredibly difficult position families have been placed in so close to the end of the school year.
FCPS Parent School Councillors