Richmond Schools Review Rejected

THE Baillieu Government has come under fire for its decision to scrap a review into boys’ education in inner-Melbourne.

The former Labor government revealed before November’s election that, if re-elected, it would conduct a study of secondary school choices for inner-city boys.

The announcement came several months after Yarra Leader launched Better Options for Richmond, a campaign for improved high school choices in Richmond and Abbotsford.

But after its election win, the Coalition refused to commit to its predecessor’s review. And in a recent statement from government spokeswoman Justine Sywak, the review was ruled out.

“Demographic trends in the area will continue to be monitored by the department to determine future education needs,” the statement said.

Rob Hulls, the ALP’s education spokesman, criticised the Government for its neglect of inner-city schooling.

“The Baillieu Government has been in office for about 80 days and has done little more than announce about 80 reviews,” he said.

“Given this, it is appalling that they are failing to commit to a review that really matters.”

Tom Rowan, from parent coalition Richmond High School Choices, said the group had sent letters to Education Minister Martin Dixon and Premier Ted Baillieu urging them to undertake the review.

He said parents would continue to lobby for rights of entry to nearby schools subject to zoning restrictions, such as Fitzroy High School and Princes Hill Secondary College.

Education Department spokesman Bruce Atherton said while Richmond students had access to Fitzroy and Princes Hill in 2012, these entry provisions would be reviewed on a year-by-year basis.

Source: Melbourne Leader – 22 Feb 11 @ 02:13pm by Michael Gleeson