North Shore Schools Update

Extracts from a report of the Northern Sydney Council of P&Cs:

There is lots happening:

  1. Shadow Education Minister: Northern Sydney executive had a productive meeting with Ryan Park, the new Shadow Minister for Education, briefing him on some of the major issues affecting our schools including the capacity issues and Out of School Hours Care capacity issues. Mr Park was a teacher before entering Parliament
  2. Meetings with The Hon Gladys Berejiklian and The Hon. Victor Dominello have been held in the last fortnight, to brief them on current issues. We will be meeting with some other local state MPs from Northern Sydney shortly. If anyone would like to be involved when we meet with their local member, please let me know.
  3. School Capacity issues: A comprehensive Issues Paper on all the related issues that need to be addressed that we have identified in the course of our capacity issues campaign has been finalised and will hopefully be released shortly.
  4. Channel 9 Planning Panel: last year 5 of our local P&Cs put in a joint submission in regard to the need to provide more school infrastructure with the development of the Channel 9 site, because all local primary and high schools had critical capacity issues. The Panel met and NSCP&Cs spoke at this meeting. If you are having big developments in your local area that will affect your local schools, we encourage primary and high school P&Cs to work together on these issues. We can assist you with where to get relevant information and with DEC capacity calculations etc.
  5. New School on Bradfield site at Crows Nest: draft boundaries have been released, and enrolments have opened for 2015! It is planned that a parent committee will be formed once the year 6 enrolment forms are lodged by end of March to work with the Department and Director to determine a range of important things for this new school, including uniform and name, and to sit on panels for the appointment of the Principal, Head teachers and other staff. Our position is that we want this new school to be a wonderful success, and that decisions like name etc are ones for the local community who will be using this school. There has been local media campaign by former Crows Nest Boys old boys trying to have their name etc imposed. There are a number of issues here to be aware of: historically the Bradfield site was the former North Sydney Girls HS site, and not Crowie, so there is no historical claim to the site. The Department has a policy that no school can be called the name of a former school. Crowie was a previously a boys school, not co ed as it will be now, and, as you may have seen alluded to, years ago there were also certain reputational issues that noone wants this wonderful new, totally different school to be lumbered with. This will be a new school, fresh start, and community determined!
  6. Other Issues: In the next few weeks we will be meeting with a number of politicians and also in contact with local mayors and councillors, so issues affecting our schools can be raised, including on a no named basis. We have been able to get a lot of issues resolved in the last year....including some that individual P&Cs had been struggling with for a few years.

Steph Croft

Joint Acting President Northern Sydney Council of P&Cs