Merger cash rejected by most schools

MORE than $3.4 million remains available for schools considering their futures after just two schools took up the state government's incentive offer.

The $3.5 million School Transition Fund was offered to encourage Tasmanian schools to consider amalgamation or other options for their future.

The first expressions of interest round closed on Friday. 

Most of the North-West and Northern  schools included on last year's closure list contacted by The Sunday Examiner  said they would not consider the offer. Another  school  said it had been advised by the Education Department not to comment. 

Sprent, Edith Creek, Mole Creek, Ringarooma, Bracknell and Avoca primary schools said no offer had been taken up.

Mole Creek Primary School Parents Association chairwoman Katy Haberle said no final decision had been made.

``We've looked at some of the options that may be available to us, but we haven't made any decisions.  We won't be looking at closure or anything like that,'' she said.

Avoca Primary School Parent Association chairwoman Lyn Williams said there had  been talks, but her group had a strong desire for the school to stay open.

``There has always been money offered for this type of thing, but we are not in a hurry to lose our little school,'' Mrs Williams said.

``In the future, if we had to go down that track, I'm sure they wouldn't leave us high and dry, but the school is too good to let go.  We weren't going to surrender.''

Geeveston District High has decided to become a K-6 primary school.

Grades 7-10 will cease at the end of the year, with $160,000 going to the primary school and $150 allocated for each student entering high school. 

Maydena Primary School will close  and merge with Westerway Primary School with $230,000 assisting the move.

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