Students from Bindi Bindi in the north-eastern Wheatbelt will move to surrounding schools from next year to increase their educational and social opportunities.
Education Minister Colin Barnett said today the small Bindi Bindi Primary School, with an enrolment of 18 children, would be closed at the end of the school year.
Mr Barnett said the decision was made with the support of local families.
“The Education Department has been in discussion with parents and the wider community for some time over the future of the school,” he said.
“The decision about whether to keep the school open or close it has been left with parents and all but one family now believes their children would be better off at bigger local schools.
“Of course we would like to keep the local school open but, when communities shrink and numbers get this low, the opportunities simply aren’t as broad for the children.”
Mr Barnett said Bindi Bindi students were expected to relocate to nearby Miling, Yerecoin or Ballidu primary schools next year.
The decision to close the school was made after a Local Area Education Planning process, with considerable public consultation, was carried out in the town over three months.
Mr Barnett said experience showed students would be better off under the move.
“Declining enrolments have made it difficult for the school to provide a wide range of learning environments and educational opportunities to suit all of the children,” he said.
“Relocating to schools with a bigger numbers of students increases curriculum choice and access to specialist teaching staff and allows for additional educational resources.
“Students will also be able to interact socially with more children of their own age.”
The Principals of Miling, Yerecoin and Ballidu Primary will work with District Director Rod Lowther and the school community to ensure the relocation of students from Bindi Bindi to the other schools is as smooth as possible.
“Mr Lowther will establish an implementation committee, including parents, to support the students as they move and to ensure school records and memorabilia are protected,” Mr Barnett said.
“A plan for transporting students to the alternative schools will also be prepared.
“In addition, parents of pre-primary to Year 6 children now enrolled at Bindi Bindi Primary School will receive a re-location allowance of $200 to assist them with their child’s enrolment at any other Government primary school next year.”
Media contact: Diana Callander, 9222 9699