MOUNT Murchison State School could be shut down following a dramatic term that has seen almost half the students leave and the P&C executive resign.
Education Queensland (EQ) is denying it is planning to close the tiny school, 10km east of Biloela, which just managed to achieve a high enough enrolment – of 26 students – for a second teacher at the start of the year.
Central Telegraph received information from concerned parents at the high number of students leaving over the past few weeks, with EQ confirming there were now just 14 students at the school.
There were rumours that EQ had moved to shut the school down two weeks ago but Wayne Butler, regional director for Central Queensland, denied the claim.
“The Department did not attempt to close the school two weeks ago,” Mr Butler said. “There are no plans to close or mothball Mt Murchison State School.”
Principal Robyn McInnes refused to comment to Central Telegraph on the large departure of students, passing us on to EQ's media unit.
Mr Butler also had little to say on the reasons for the mass exodus. “The department is unable to speculate on decisions as to why students may depart the school,” he said.
He said if the department decided to close a school, community engagement would be undertaken to ensure a smooth transition and provide extra support to students and families.
The entire P&C executive has resigned, including president Justine Christerson, who will take her two children out of the school at the end of term, reducing enrolment further.
She said she could not comment on other families' reasons for withdrawing their children.
“It's sad that such a school with huge potential got lost in the system and that is the very reason I chose a small school, because we didn't believe our children could get lost in the system.
“Boy, we were wrong,” Mrs Christerson said.
She said she has heard of other parents considering taking their children out of the school.