Some of you will remember Gab Macintosh and her school, Blacktown Youth College who were part of our group from the beginning. We lost touch with Gab for a number of years but this year we have been in touch again and I learnt that she had set up another school called Eagle Arts and Vocational College with three campuses in Broken Hill, Western Sydney and the Central Coast. Gab has been keen for the school to become part of ADEC. As with BYC, the students at these schools have often had troubled histories within their families, their education and some with the justice system. Gab has always been one to champion them and try to find ways to enable them to change their lives and create some educational paths ways which work for them. The school recently has had the disturbing news that the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has decided to close them down. Like all these situation the story is long and complicated but is very upsetting and perplexing for the school community especially as they have had 5 inspections in the last 18 months and just two weeks prior to the final negative inspection they had passed an inspection. Gab told me that she had written an article for the local paper and this was apparently reported to the board and they came for another inspection virtually the next day. It was this inspection that prompted the judgement that they were not a proper school. Gab has not really been able to establish why one group of inspectors’ decision was completely overturned. The school worked with a compliance expert and even this process did not result in a change of decision. In fact any attempt to allow time to work on issues or work on appeals has resulted in the decision being brought forward.
Gab is aware that other small alternative schools have also been having more difficult processes of inspection and wonders if some change of culture has occurred within the Authority which is now making it much harder to comply?
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Perrottet, Dominic In his capacity as Treasurer, and Minister for Industrial Relations:
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Humphries, Kevin In his capacity as Member for Barwon:
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Tesch, Liesl In her capacity as Member for Gosford:
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