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Minister refuses to back Nepean High

Liberal Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres has questioned the seriousness of the Kenneally Labor Government’s approach to designating creative and performing arts status on Nepean High School after the Minister for Education flagrantly dodged Mr Ayres’ request for more detail on the government’s 2009 announcement.

Question: What Creative and Performing Arts resources will be allocated to Nepean High School to support the increased number of Creative and Performing Arts students in 2011?

Answer: The school has established an audition process to select highly talented students for the creative and performing arts stream and offers dance and drama classes.[1]

“Clearly the Keneally Labor Government are not fair dinkum about supporting Nepean High School.” Mr Ayres said today.

“When the school community asks where the new teaching resources are, the government’s solution is to refer the matter to an unelected bureaucrat who doesn’t have the budget to respond, although the Department’s own formula entitle Nepean High to another Deputy Principal and Head Teacher.

“Yet when the school community ask where the money is going, the government does have an answer – the creative and performing arts high has received just under $600k to refurbish two of their metalwork rooms[2].

“I think we’re all at a loss as to how that benefits the school trying to attract Western Sydney’s best creative and performing arts students.

“And to top it all off another $250k[3] is being spent on ‘planning’ for creative and performing arts facilities within the school – none of it will go towards the bricks and mortar but it will make some outside consultant very, very happy.

“This is a school which has a dedicated P&C and leadership team but is crying out for change in attitude from the Keneally Labor Government. This region needs a high school which caters for the creative and performing arts to compliment the facilities at our local university and The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.

\”After recently announcing yet another unfunded creative and performing arts high school at Granville South High School it seems as if this government is prepared to say anything and do anything to get re-elected while having no regard for the school communities who are affected.

\”The Minister for Education needs to do the responsible thing and act now by appointing a new Deputy Principal to the school and a head teacher to the Creative and Performing Arts Faculty rather than holding the issue over for another government and another minister to address.

“We can do great things with the arts and education in Penrith but the only way we can make these changes is by cutting the Keneally Labor Government out of the process as soon as possible.”

[1]QoN to Minister for Education – Stuart Ayres 11939 item 3

[2] QoN to Minister for Education – Stuart Ayres 11578 item 1

[3] QoN to Minister for Education – Stuart Ayres 11578 item 2


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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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