Victorian school closures force drop-outs
By Lachlan Anderson
MELBOURNE — A report released on September 1 has identified serious disruption of students following school closures by the Kennett government. Fifty-five schools were closed last year, and more are expected.
The survey was undertaken by the Coburg Tech Parents Group. It posted a questionnaire to 227 former students of the school, which was closed in last year's round of cuts. From a response rate of 50% the study has found:
- 63% of year 11 students have left school and will not complete a secondary education.
- Only 5% of those discouraged students have found employment.
- 39% of students reported difficulty settling into a new school, with some facing further closures.
A spokesperson for the group, Jeanette Cowan, told Green Left, "This survey shows the state government must stop treating our children so callously, stop closing our schools until the effect of the earlier closures has been evaluated".
"I believe further study will reveal school closures are causing an increase in youth homelessness", she said. "There has been a marked increase in applications for young homeless allowance in this area.
"Coburg Tech was always prepared to take on the more difficult kids and try to see them through. This school had a fantastic reputation for doing the hard things. Now it's just not being done, and Kennett couldn't care less."