I received the following email from the Save Dickson College mailing list last night:
Six Representatives from the Save Dickson College Committee meet with Minister Barr and two of his advisors on Tuesday 27th June
– The meeting went very well.
– The committee came across very strongly and were clear that we didn’t want to look at any other models – which he tried to get us to do.
– The committee asked did he have the answers to the questions from the meeting (and of course he didn’t!) so we gave him a list of questions (attached) and went through them. This really put them on the back foot I think and made David Peebles, Minister Barr’s Chief of Staff look silly as he promised the community he would take the questions back to the Minister.
They couldn’t really provide us with any answers or any rationale other than cost cutting.
– Minister Barr acknowledged one of the messages from the community that the 7 to 12 option at Campbell is not on, which probably means they have to keep Dickson College. But he hasn’t given us any guarantees so we need to keep the pressure up.
– Minister Barr did suggest that the community would have to work with them to increase programs at Dickson to keep it viable
– The Govt are holding their public meeting next Monday at where we can put more pressure on. The committee hope to get some questions together for people to ask at this meeting.
We need a good turnout at the Monday meeting so bring along everyone you can muster up. The hall only holds about 150 people.
The committee will meet a week or so after that and work out a longer term strategy ie. Meeting with all the MLAs, writing letters etc.
All in all pretty positive meeting for the community.
On behalf of the Save Dickson College Committee
From my reading of it, it looks like Dickson is now unlikely to close, as the silly ill conceived idea for turning Campbell High into a year 7-12 school has been acknowledged by Andrew Barr as silly and ill conceived.
The “Towards 2020 consultation meetings” are not designed to be consultative. Just about every school in the inner north which isn’t Campbell Primary has a hall which holds more than 150 people, but that’s the location for the inner north meeting. Further evidence of the non-consultation involved in these meetings can be read here  and here .
Andrew Barr wants the Dickson community to work with him to keep Dickson open…sounds like a message which everybody affected by the ACT budget should take notice of.
Anyway, it looks like some ground is being made…perhaps my idea that the government don’t actually want to close 39 schools, and that number was just an inflated headline grabber, wasn’t so far off the mark after all…or am I just being too cynical? For some reason, with this government, I suspect the former.