The day after the Queensland Government confirmed that six of the state’s schools would close, there’s now concern over teachers’ jobs.
And there’s also speculation about whether the government will put land, worth millions of dollars, up for sale.
Amelia Bray reports.
This morning it was business as usual for the Education Minister attending Kelvin Grove State High School to congratulate three students on their creative achievements.
It’s one school where it’s also business as usual, but it was yesterday’s announcement that was still the hot topic facing the Minister.
John-Paul Langbroek, Qld Education Minister: “Look I can understand that parents and teachers, affected students in these schools, it’s understandable they’re going to be upset. And that’s why we want to make sure that we work with them.”
Mr Langbroek said the teachers affected by the school shutdowns would be treated with compassion.
John-Paul Langbroek, Qld Education Minister: “We are going to attempt of course to make sure that they are transferred to a school where they would like to be in the close region.”
But the Queensland Teachers’ Union, has concerns and fears about the fate of teachers employed on temporary contracts. The union believes the Government needs to be mindful that many have been teaching at these schools for more than two years.
Kate Ruttiman, Queensland Teachers Union: “Closing schools in those particular areas will actually obviously close down the pool that they have access to and the Government needs to find them jobs.”
And then there’s the valuable land currently owned by the Government; Minister Langbroek maintains cashing in on the school closures wasn’t the motivation for his decision.
John-Paul Langbroek, Qld Education Minister: “No decision has been made about the properties because that wasn’t one of the considerations, one of the criteria, that was part of the process about looking at those schools and their viability.”
Real estate experts have estimated that Fortitude Valley State School, under current zoning, would be worth $3.7 million. Yet if it gets rezoned to commerical, that’s a completely different story.
Nerina Sportelli, Real Estate Agent: “It is a very large parcel of land, it’s about 13,000 square metres, but certainly very valuable when you think of the smaller parcels and what they have gone for.”
Although the Education Minister says if any schools are sold the money will go to the future of Queensland’s education system.
For now, teachers and students are dealing with the more immediate consequences.
Amelia Bray, QUT News.