Brisbane Catholic Education’s (BCE) shameful decision to close Seton College is a blatant sell out of students, parents and staff. IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said BCE’s decision was wrong and Seton College should remain open to provide inclusive education for families in the Mount Gravatt community.
“For 56 years, the teachers and school support staff at Seton College have provided high quality education to the southside community,” Mr Burke said.
“Eighteen months ago, BCE made a clear commitment in writing to provide schooling which specifically catered for students with disabilities but now BCE has simply decided to turn that decision on its head and claim that this is not the type of school they should operate.
“It’s a clear contradiction of what college staff, students and their parents were told 18 months ago.
“It’s a sell out of Seton College students and their parents who enrolled them at the college based on BCE’s commitment 18 months ago to operate a school exclusively for students with a disability.
“It’s also a sell out of Seton College staff who have been committed to making this vision a reality for the last 18 months through their professional development and the creation of work programs.”
Mr Burke said BCE had serious questions to answer about the closure of the school, given last year it promised the college’s commitment to providing a high quality learning environment for students with a disability.
Members have concerns for students’ future
Mr Burke said college staff also had serious concerns for the future of their students.
“Here we have a cohort of students who feel safe and comfortable in their current learning environment,” Mr Burke said.
“However, BCE’s plan is to just move them on to other schools, and most likely larger learning environments, which could pose a very daunting and challenging experience for these students.
“Our members have spent the last 18 months building relationships and connections to engage these students and no consideration will compensate for this,” he said.
Supporting our members
Mr Burke said the union was providing advice, support and assistance to its members at the college during this uncertain time.
“Our union is always there to support our members in such situations and we have and will continue to do so – a key part of that support being our ongoing advocacy to BCE that the college remain open,” he said.
Source: IEU Queensland and Northern Territory Branch: qieu.asn.au/news/archive/2020/august/brisbane-catholic-education-sells-out-students-and-staff-in-seto/