Parent anger over Stanley school 'closure'

GALLERY: Click or flick across the above image for more photos from the fiery meeting.

ANOTHER meeting has been called to discuss the fate of Stanley Primary School after frustrated parents say their questions weren’t answered last night.

What was meant to be a short community forum turned into a heated hour-long discussion with more than 70 attending.

Indigo councillor Bernard Gaffney moved for another meeting next week.

“This is going around in circles,” Cr Gaffney said.

The meeting next Wednesday will involve members of council, parents of prospective students and the Department of Education regional field officer Tony Gooden.

The school is not operating this term after most of its 11 students from last year enrolled at other schools due to what parents say were issues with the principal.

Parent Katherine Collins voiced her concerns.

She had to find a new school for her daughter the day before school returned.

“The department called and said there would be no school and asked what we were going to do with her,” she said.

“It was the day before school started and we were asked to find another school.

“They made a time for us to see the principal in Beechworth and she is there but she doesn’t like it.”

Mr Gooden said two students had to find a school at the last minute.

“They were already enrolled and didn’t realise what had happened,” he said.

“The department made sure they had a placement at Beechworth Primary School.”

Mrs Collins believed the school would be operating as normal had parents been able to talk with the principal, who has been on sick leave since November.

“If she sat down and had a talk it wouldn’t have gone this far,” Mrs Collins said.

Another resident said the department wanted the school to close.

Mr Gooden said the community’s opinion would be considered before any decision was made its future.

“We have not closed the school and have no intentions of closing the school,” he said.

Amber Croft was one of many parents who voiced their concerns. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Amber Croft was one of many parents who voiced their concerns. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

concerned parent Katherine Collins, who has a daughter who was enrolled in the school as a 5th generation student, voiced her concerns. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

concerned parent Katherine Collins, who has a daughter who was enrolled in the school as a 5th generation student, voiced her concerns. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Jenny O'Connor received a loud applause from the parents when she asked the Department of Education representative to be clear and to outline the intentions of the department moving forward. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Jenny O'Connor received a loud applause from the parents when she asked the Department of Education representative to be clear and to outline the intentions of the department moving forward. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Former Acting School Council President, Kimberley Taylor, expresses her concerns. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Former Acting School Council President, Kimberley Taylor, expresses her concerns. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Kelli Hicks sharing her concerns. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Kelli Hicks sharing her concerns. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Regional Field Officer with the Department of Education, Tony Gooden, addressing the group before question time. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Regional Field Officer with the Department of Education, Tony Gooden, addressing the group before question time. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Regional Field Officer with the Department of Education, Tony Gooden, addressing the group before question time. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

Regional Field Officer with the Department of Education, Tony Gooden, addressing the group before question time. PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

PHOTO: Tara Goonan.

“We will consult ... to see what possible future there is ... but if it’s determined down the track that we can’t sustain a school in Stanley any longer then it will close.”