One quarter of SA’s tiniest schools on Anangu lands

Posted on 26 September 2013 under Watarru.
Tags: education & school attendance
school sign, Watarru

school sign, Watarru

The South Australian Government runs 528 schools.1

At the start of this year, 12 of these schools had 15 students or less.2

Three of these small schools are located on the APY Lands, with two of them – Kenmore Park Anangu School and Mintabie Area School – catering for both primary and secondary school students.3

The third small APY school is located in Watarru. As this school has been “suspended” (i.e. temporarily closed) since mid 2012, it had zero enrolments at the start of 2013.4

Although nine school-aged children were living in Watarru last month, the school remained closed.5

On 28 August 2013, a ten-page report forwarded to both the SA Government and Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara indicated that there were enough students living in Watarru to warrant the reopening of the school.6

The same report noted, however, that staff from the Department for Education and Child Development had advised that:

They have no funding for any costs of [an] operational return or continued management, with all funding for the current year conducted and allocated.7

On 17 September 2013, the Department advised the Paper Tracker that:

schools can only be closed if a majority of parents agree under the relevant provisions of the Education Act 1972 or if the Minister initiates a Review.8

The Paper Tracker notes that at the start of this year, the Department operated five schools at which nine or fewer students were enrolled. These were:

  • Yunta Rural School: 2 enrolments
  • Loveday Primary School: 2 enrolments
  • Mintabie Area School: 9 enrolments
  • Point Pearce Aboriginal School: 9 enrolments
  • Port Germain Primary School: 9 enrolments.9

References

  1. Adams, P (Dept for Education and Child Development). 17 September 2013. Email to J. Nicholls/Paper Tracker.
  2. The 12 schools were: Watarru Anangu School, Yunta Rural School, Loveday Primary School, Mintabie Area School, Point Pearce Aboriginal School, Port Germein Primary School, Blanchetown Primary School, Kenmore Park Anangu School, Booborowie Primary School, Edithburgh Primary School, Port Neill Primary School and Port Vincent Primary School (see Adams, P (Dept for Education and Child Development). 17 September 2013. Email to J. Nicholls/Paper Tracker).
  3. Adams, P (Dept for Education and Child Development). 17 September 2013. Email to J. Nicholls/Paper Tracker.
  4. Adams, P (Dept for Education and Child Development). 17 September 2013. Email to J. Nicholls/Paper Tracker.
  5. Heath, D (Office of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation). 16 September 2013. Email to S. Martin/The Australian newspaper.
  6. Bailey, N. 28 August 2013. Email and attached report to R. Preece (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) and L. Liddle (SA Dept of the Premier and Cabinet).
  7. Bailey, N. August 2013. “Limited time allocation project, to address Watarru community issues on their return to the community”, unpublished report, p2.
  8. Adams, P (Dept for Education and Child Development). 17 September 2013. Email to J. Nicholls/Paper Tracker.
  9. Adams, P (Dept for Education and Child Development). 17 September 2013. Email to J. Nicholls/Paper Tracker.
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