The school with no classes

CLASSROOMS are open and office staff are on hand, but no lessons are being taught at Stanley Primary School this term.

There are no students at the building where classes began in 1857.

The fate of the North East school is unclear with the Education Department telling The Border Mail that, while it was not closed, it was not hosting students.

“Stanley Primary School will remain open, despite having no enrolments for the start of the 2013 school year,” an Education Department spokeswoman said.

She said the school would remain staffed by an acting principal in case any enrolments were received.

The principal left in November and was not replaced.

Parents of the 10 students enrolled last year have taken their children to schools to Beechworth and, in the case of one family, Myrtleford.

Parent Kimberley Taylor said there had been too much uncertainty about the fate of the school’s principal, so she had enrolled her two children at St Joseph’s, Beechworth.

“The parents I have spoken to agree a new principal is needed,” she said.

“It’s a bit of a catch 22 because you can’t make a choice for your kids without meeting a new principal.”

Other parents were reluctant to comment.

However, The Border Mail spoke to residents in the town who hoped parents would return their children to the school.

Chris Dormer, who has lived in Stanley for 32 years, said her daughter had attended the school in the late 90s when there were up to 56 students.

“I have heard the parents took their kids away because of issues with the head teacher,” she said.

A former parent of the school, Kelli Hicks, also heard there had been issues between the principal and parents.

“These issues need to be sorted and parents need the support of the Education Department,” she said.

“If we want a school at Stanley, parents have to send their kids there.

“We have already lost our general store and the post office is temporary. We can’t lose the school as well.”

Indigo Council is hosting a community forum on Tuesday to discuss community issues, with the future of the school added to the agenda.

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