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School closures inquiry – report

The ACT Assembly Education Commmittee tabled its report into school closures today. The full report is on the Assembly website (warning: 2MB download). Or you can just look at the Recommendations, and the sections relating to Flynn.

The report includes three recommendations in relation to Flynn:

  • RECOMMENDATION 2: The Committee recommends that the delays associated with the heritage assessment of the Flynn Primary School site be investigated by the ACT Government and resolved as soon as possible.
  • RECOMMENDATION 3: The Committee recommends that the ACT Government urgently liaise with the representatives of the John Flynn Community Group, or other members of the Flynn community, to negotiate the viability of their, or alternative, proposals for the closed school site.
  • RECOMMENDATION 5: The Committee recommends that ministerial advisers be reminded of their ethical obligation to disclose any conflict of interest they may have in a matter during negotiations on behalf of a Minister with members of the community.

There was no recommendation to re-open Flynn, despite a recommendation to open Hall and Tharwa “based on the demographic, educational, social and economic evidence presented during the Inquiry”—the same evidence should have been used to recommend re-opening Flynn. Flynn’s media response summarises this issue.

The failure to recommend re-opening Flynn was very disappointing. But the lack of consensus on the matter is clear from the dissenting reports: Joy Burch (ALP) opposed re-opening any schools; Jeremy Hanson (Lib) wanted to re-open four schools (Hall, Flynn, Cook and Tharwa), using the same reasoning used for Hall and Tharwa; Amanda Bresnan (Green) did not dissent on this point.

Save Our Schools has heavily criticised the report, calling it ‘weak-kneed’ in the media, and saying it failed to deliver either the much-needed reform to stop anything like this ever happening again, and it failed to deliver for Cook and Flynn.

We’re still going through the report, and we might have more to say later.

The media reports from the day are at:

Images from Flynn

Angles on the textured concrete walls


Flynn grounds

Landscape setting & grounds

Enrico Taglietti visting the school he designed

History and design

Memorial to John Flynn

Memorial to John Flynn