A report released by Tasmanian Auditor-General Mike Blake has identified 17 public primary schools where a strong case existed for closure to be considered.
Blake examined a number of factors including enrolment numbers, NAPLAN results, location and availability of alternative schools in compiling the list, and insisted that no conclusions were reached on any single factor.
In the report Blake noted there was no evidence that small schools were disadvantaged in terms of educational performance, however, he pointed out that Tasmanian public primary schools were more costly per student compared to the Australian average and the Tasmanian Government could save potentially $433,000 per year for each school closed.
However, Tasmanian Minister for Education and Training, Jeremy Rockliff, said no school will be forced to close.
“We fought very hard against the attempt by the previous Labor-Green Government to forcibly close schools, and we remain categorically opposed to forced closures,” he said in a statement.
“In many instances schools are the lifeblood of regional communities, and we firmly believe it is up to local communities to determine their future, not have it imposed from on high against their wishes.”