Sun. May 19th, 2024

Moree Secondary College students will all be learning from one school next year, with approval given to consolidate the two existing campuses onto the Albert Street site after strong representations from the local community.

The college has been split between two campuses since the school was created 20 years ago, with the Year 10 to 12 students attending the Albert Street campus (formerly Moree High) and Year 7 to 9 students at the Carol Avenue campus (formerly Courallie High). In December last year, the school community was surveyed about the consolidation and which site the new school should be situated. The Albert Street campus was a clear winner.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall commended the persistence of the community over many years to achieve the outcome and said this created the opportunity to create a brand new high school, complete with a new name, uniform and culture in new surrounds. 

“The community has consistently advocated for all students to be together on one site and I am delighted we’ve able to deliver this for current and future students,” Mr Marshall said.

“This outcome comes in large part from the ongoing efforts of the P&C Association and the local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG), who have pushed for the consolidation since 2017.”

Mr Marshall said it was important the community had ownership of the new high school, not just its name or the uniform, but importantly, on which of the two existing campuses it would be situated.

“I can confirm today that from the first day of term one next year, all students and staff will be on the Albert Street campus,” Mr Marshall said.

Moree Secondary College P&C Association President Kelly James has spearheaded a grass-roots campaign to merge both campuses into one.

The confirmation that the P and C Association’s goal of a merger had been finally achieved, was an exciting outcome for Mrs James.

“An overhaul to Secondary Education in Moree is long overdue, and this is a massive and welcome step in the right direction for our students,” Mrs James said. 

“It is an important outcome to ensure the future growth of our school, our town and our shire”

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said it is important to adapt and change to best suit the school community.

“The NSW Government is focused on ensuring students across the state have the best school experience and this is an important decision for the future of education in Moree,” Ms Mitchell said.

“I look forward to working with the local community to ensure the right decision is made and the school has the resources they need to relocate to one site.”

The announcement is a potentially risky move for Mr Marshall during the election season, who has never been forgiven for his role in the merger of Duval and Armidale high schools into a new campus with a new name and uniform, just as is proposed for Moree. Armidale Secondary College has had disastrous results with poor site design resulting in little shade and shelter in outdoor spaces, students being forced outside on cold days, extreme problems with bullying and violence, and numerous teacher strikes. While the Moree merger was called for by the community, rather than sprung on the community as the Armidale merger was, the news will likely renew calls for Armidale Secondary College to be demerged and Duval High reopened.

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