The School Viability Assessment procedure will be implemented in four stages:
STAGE 1: ANNUAL REVIEW – Term 1
DET will conduct the annual School Viability Assessment. This review involves an analysis of all state schools using the approved viability criteria.
- Enrolment history (especially past five years) and forecasts for the next five years
- Number of students attending the school who do not live in the school catchment area
- Distances and travel times to and from school
- Access to nearby schools or alternative education programs
- Transport options and arrangements for the school and neighbouring schools (road networks, bus routes, train routes)
- Extent of the school’s curriculum and its ability to access suitable educational resources
IV. Resourcing equity:
- Cost per student per annum and comparison with state schools
- Numbers, types and conditions of buildings
STAGE 2: INFORM COMMUNITY AND GAZETTAL – Term 2
Minister approves which schools will be proposed for closure in the current school year and approves for the relevant schools to undergo community consultation. The Minister also informs the relevant school communities, in writing, that they have been identified for proposed closure and will undergo consultation. DET will place a public notice in the Government Gazette to inform the broader community about the proposed closures and the commencement of the consultation period.
STAGE 3: COMMUNITY CONSULTATION – Term 3
Consultation occurs with school communities. Regional Directors will compile a report outlining the outcomes of the community consultation for each school proposed for closure. The Minister will consider the results of the consultation and make decisions on whether a school should be closed permanently, or remain open. Schools approved for closure will be informed by the end of Term 3.
STAGE 4: TRANSITIONAL PLANNING – Term 4
Schools approved for closure will officially close at the end of the school year. During Term 4, DET will work with students, families and staff to transition to new schools/education providers for the start of the following year.
Please note: Any closure of a secondary school under the School Viability Assessment procedure will take place over an extended period – i.e. up to two years. This will minimise disruption to senior students in their final years of schooling.
If two or more schools are identified as candidates for amalgamation, as part of the School Viability Assessment process, the actions outlined in the four-stage process above will apply.
In the case of schools that ‘self-close’ part way through a school year – i.e. enrolments drop to an unviable level with very low student numbers or no students – the Regional Director must promptly notify ISRP in order to activate the School Viability Assessment procedure. The actions detailed from “Stage 2” in the Process above will be followed, however the timings will be adjusted according to each individual situation.