Wednesday, 22 February 2023
Dromana Secondary College
Table of contents
Dromana Secondary College
Sam GROTH (Nepean) (19:13): (57) I rise today with an urgent matter for the Minister for Education regarding the government’s contravention of their own education placement policy and complete disregard for the Education and Training Reform Act 2006. Dromana college is currently being forced by the minister and her department to deny students an education and mislead the community around its capacity to accept enrolments. Under the Education and Training Reform Act:
Every Victorian student has a legislated right to enrol at their designated neighbourhood school (section 2.2.13) and may be enrolled at another school subject to sufficient accommodation (section 2.2.14).
In addition to this the Department of Education’s placement policy makes clear that where there is sufficient accommodation and the request for enrolment aligns with the school’s enrolment management plan, if they have one, the enrolment should be accepted and the student accommodated at that school. That is the government’s policy; however, Dromana college has been instructed by this government to close enrolments to prospective pupils outside the zone and mislead the community by falsely stating that it cannot accommodate these students. On Friday 18 November the college was directed to replace all website enrolment information text with the following:
Students residing in our school zone are guaranteed a place at our school, which is determined on the basis of your permanent residential address. Our school does not have sufficient accommodation to offer entry to students residing outside of our zone, unless directed to do so by the Regional Director, South-Eastern Victoria Region on compassionate grounds as per the Enrolment: Placement Policy.
This is despite repeated communication to the minister from college leadership, including the school council president, clearly stating they do have requisite accommodation to accept outside students and indeed would like to accept these students into their school community. Dromana college has sufficient accommodation, as determined by the principal in consultation with the south-east Victoria regional office, and this reflects current and future in-zone demand. Dromana college does not have an enrolment management plan, so this would also not justify the minister’s actions.
My community is stronger when all students, regardless of their arbitrary zoning, are afforded a quality education in the school of their choosing. This government should be ashamed of the position they are putting parents, students, teachers and school leadership in by forcing the closure of enrolments to deserving children outside the catchment zone. The action I seek is simple – for the minister to follow her own government’s policy and reopen enrolments to Dromana college from outside the school zone.