Hope for future as school closes

THE principal of a new church school in The Basin that was forced to abandon secondary education because of low enrolments says he is hopeful of the school reopening in 2017.

Christadelphian Heritage College was told by the education department last week its secondary classes would be axed next year because there were less than 10 students per year level.

The school had received special consideration for the past two years as it tried to establish the secondary school programs.

CHC opened in 2010 and was adding a secondary class each year with the aim of filling all year levels by 2016.

Principal Bill Lunn said there were 10 enrolments for year 9, three for year 8 and seven for year 7 in 2013.

While the school community was disappointed by the closure, he recognised the government had "no option" but to deny it registration.

The school website describes its "environmental goal" to be a suburban school with the benefits of a rural location.

Mr Lunn said it was never intended the school would have large enrolment numbers — its total enrolment was capped at 150. He said the school would focus on increasing primary school numbers and was confident the secondary college programs would re-commence in 2017 given projected numbers.

Mr Lunn was buoyed by the support of surrounding schools — both government and private — which were likely to provide places for the CHC students.

He said there had been some "very generous" offers from schools to take students in groups so that their friendship networks would be maintained.

There were also plans for a bus to ferry older students to their new schools, and then take their siblings to Heritage College.

Mr Lunn said the departing students were very positive about the future and would celebrate their final days together on school camp.

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