MORE THAN 100 parents attended a “crisis meeting” with the education department on Friday (September 14) to discuss what can be done to improve low grades and culture at North Perth primary school.
A department inquiry into the school followed poor NAPLAN results over the past few years, but parents say there’s more to the problem and they’re frustrated with ongoing “issues around the school”.
Paul Meacock, the education department’s north metro assistant executive director, had said earlier this month that the inquiry has given the school a blueprint to follow.
But one concerned parent who attended the meeting says there’s a lack of understanding among the school’s leadership about the department’s report.
The parent says while the NAPLAN results “gave support to the concerns they already had”, there are wider problems:
“A lot of it is down to the actual culture and vibe of the school, that underlying culture you like to create in an environment like a school that is lacking under current leadership.”
She says at the end of the meeting, which was “emotive, with parents really standing up and expressing their concerns” it was suggested they “gather emails and other evidence and bring it all together and present it to the department.
“We have mixed feelings now; leaving the meeting it was hard to know what will come next.
“The proof will be in the pudding, I suppose.”
The meeting was organised by Perth MP John Carey, after he was inundated with complaints from school parents.
The meeting was originally to be held at his electoral office, but following a groundswell of interest he relocated it to the North Perth town hall.
He said the summit “did provide a good opportunity for parents to directly engage with the department and to understand the ‘where-to-now’ after the inquiry.
“The advice given from the department is they want to focus on an improvement plan for the school. It was evident in the number of parents turning out. It indicated that parents wanted that opportunity to engage with the education department to find out what’s going to happen next.”
by MOLLY SCHMIDT