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No Real Answers for Big Picture School in Launceston

28 October 2015

BIG PICTURE SCHOOL, LAUNCESTON

Ms DAWKINS question to MINISTER for EDUCATION and TRAINING, Mr ROCKLIFF

[10.57 a.m.]

As you are aware, the Big Picture School of the City Campus in Inveresk, Launceston has enjoyed ongoing success, providing a happy learning environment for disengaged students.  You have stated that parents and students were advised the City Campus would be closing and the school would be moved to a new location but into a new model at the Launceston College site.  You also stated no concerns had been raised about the move.  Is it not a fact the students and parents only learned of the move when they read it in the newspaper and many concerns have been raised not just with the department but also with your office?  Is it not also a fact you are relocating Big Picture students to the very place and environment they seek to avoid and this is simply to take over a building to house an administrator?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's question and her interest in this matter.  I have engaged in discussions with parents.  I met with a number of parents and interested community members to discuss the proposed move of City Campus a few weeks ago and reassured them that more time was needed for consultation with the City Campus parents before a final decision is reached about the proposed move.

My office recently visited the City Campus site and met with key principals who were engaged in those discussions.  I enjoyed the conversation I had with parents of students who attend City Campus and the Big Picture School.  All parties involved agree more time is needed for consultation with parents of students at the school.  A meeting has been scheduled that will include current parents, teachers and relevant principals to discuss the proposed plan to move the City Campus to Wellington Square. 

I reinforce the fact that the City Campus will still have a focus on a Big Picture approach to learning.  I have received some very positive feedback about the opportunities in terms of the move and a more conducive learning environment and that is a good thing.  There are mixed views about this.  It is important that we listen to the views of parents, teachers and principals.  We will be further consulting around the issue of the move.  Big Picture will remain an important part, particularly for students who are disengaged from mainstream schooling.  That is very important and we have good Big Picture examples around Tasmania.  I am very interested to continue the consultation with parents, students and principals of surrounding schools.