Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 20.9 Contents The Chronicle
DELIVERING COMMUNITY NEWS ACROSS CANBERRA AND QUEANBEYAN
Volume 16 No. 37
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2011
Phone: 6280 2122 Fax: 6239 1345
8-page liftout inside
Class relocation anger
Susie Campbell hands over signed petitions against the proposed relocation of preschool classes from Weston
Preschool to Opposition education spokesman Steve Doszpot.
Picture: Elesa Lee
Continued Page 8
PARENTS of children attending
Weston Preschool have expressed their
anger at a decision to relocate classes
to Arawang Preschool next year.
Parents were recently informed that
classes on Monday, Tuesday and the
first half of Wednesday would be held
at Arawang, which operates Weston
Preschool and its own separate
preschool, in 2012.
This decision was made despite the
popularity of the service at Weston,
which is fully booked and has a
substantial waiting list.
Speaking after a public meeting on
the issue last week, parent Susanna
Lloyd said there was a lot of anger
among the preschool community about
the decision and the lack of notifi-
''During the enrolment period in
May there was no notification of any
changes,'' Ms Lloyd said.
''And then when the offer of
placements began a few weeks ago, a
letter was sent to some applicants
advising that classes enrolled on
Monday to Wednesday would no
longer be available, that a decision had
been made to move the classes to
''The parents at Weston Preschool
are very committed to the school and
very involved and have a 100 per cent
contribution rate. They want to stay
there, and a lot of parents at our
meeting said they would be taking
their children elsewhere and not to
Arawang because of this decision.''
In a letter to parents co-signed by
Arawang principal Roz Lambert and
board members, the decision to relo-
cate the classes to Arawang was stated
as being made on educational grounds
and not location grounds.
The letter stated the classes were
moved to Arawang Preschool, which is
next door to Arawang Primary School,
to ensure a smooth transition for
preschool students into primary
school. The Australian Early Develop-
ment Index study had found children
aged five in Weston Creek were
behind the rest of the ACT in social
competence and emotional maturity.
However, this reasoning was disput-
ed by Ms Lloyd, who said the data in
the study was meant to be used over a
number of years to identify trends.
''The data is immature, this was the
first time the study had been done and
it was conducted over a small random
amount of children,'' she said.
''And if the decision was made to
better transitioning, why have only
half the classes been moved?''
Parent Annette Middleton said she
was worried about the future of the
preschool, which was fought for by the
community after the ACT Govern-
ment's decision to close the Weston
Primary School in 2006.
''While this is not a closure, I think
it is a precursor to a closure,'' she said.
''They are moving the resources and
the structure of the preschool to
Arawang and eventually Weston won't
be able to sustain itself.''
Ms Middleton said the school had
also failed its own communication
policy as it hadn't been open, honest
and transparent in letting parents know
about its preschool decisions.
As of yesterday, close to 600 people
had signed a petition requesting the
Government to overturn the decision
made by the Arawang Primary School,
so that Weston Preschool retains its
two mainstream classes and in future
such decisions on feeder school plan-
ning are not taken without full consul-
tation with the communities that are
affected and before preschool enrol-
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