TARADALE residents and the State Opposition fear the Taradale Primary School will close.
Taradale Community Forum secretary Gay Buchanan said the school had been destabilised by changes made by the state government and said the closure would affect the entire community.
“Our main concern is that the school was told at the end of last year they could continue operating until end of term one, but had to increase numbers,” she said.
“The school has increased numbers, but the Education Department has not even made further enquiries.
“The department has been destabilising the school by changing staff. We feel the school has got a good future but the department won’t guarantee the school will continue.”
Ms Buchanan said the school had grown from two students to six since last year with three more students to join early next year.
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the future of the school was uncertain.
“The fear of closure has been around for some time. People in the community have therefore been reluctant to send students to the school,” she said. “The broader Taradale community wants clarity and they want it in writing from the Education Department and the minister.”
Ms Edwards visited the school with Shadow Minister for Education James Merlino on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Education Minister Martin Dixon would not say if the school would remain open, but said the government did not force schools to close.
“Unlike Labor, which shut more than 120 schools and tried to shut Eaglehawk Primary School, the Victorian Government does not force schools to close,” he said.
“Based on current enrolments the government will maintain existing levels of support for Taradale Primary School.”