School’s closure a reality

A LOCAL Catholic school could be forced to close its doors but parents still have a Hail Mary hope of saving it.

The St Mary’s campus of St Nicholas’ Primary School is slated to close at the end of this year, unless parents can convince the Bishop’s Commission for Catholic Schools to keep it open.

Parents were sent a letter this week informing them of the recommendation to close the Oxley Vale school, which celebrated its 25th anniversary at the site this year. Oxley Vale father Andrew Myers, who has two children at St Mary’s, said the decision felt like “a kick in the guts”.

“I didn’t want to believe it was happening ... the kids are so happy at the school,” Mr Myers said.

“We thought we’d made a great decision to send them there and this will be an upheaval for them and inconvenient for us.

“They say there will be places for them at the Carthage St campus but it’s already crowded there and resources are stretched.”

In the letter to parents, Diocesan Director of Catholic Schools John Mula said “The decision ... was made with respect to enhanced educational opportunities for students and the principles of sound educational planning.” 

He confirmed students would be offered positions at the St Nicholas’ campus in Carthage St.

He said before a final decision was made on the closure, parents were invited to write to the Bishop’s Commission to “outline any relevant factors that should be considered”.

Up until 1999, St Nicholas’ Parish Tamworth operated two separate schools: St Nicholas’ Primary and St Mary’s Infants. 

In 1989, St Mary’s was relocated from Bligh St North to the Oxley Vale site. Submissions close May 30.

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