THE Department of Education has reconsidered its decision to cancel the public schools 2017 CAPERS performances, instead announcing it will go ahead this year.
In an extraordinary turn of events on Thursday, the Education Department back-flipped on its decision to axe the event, after initially citing it was not financially viable this year due to a proposed revised date.
Following the announcement, the Department said it consulted with principals and found that the originally proposed date was suitable to school calendars.
The decision followed public outcry from parents, who were disappointed they would not see their children take the stage, after The Leader broke the story on Wednesday.
On Thursday afternoon, the Department released a statement confirming that CAPERS would continue and would be staged at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre, on November 3 and 4.
The theme for the ninth CAPERS spectacular will be Far, Far Away.
Director of Public Schools, Ruythe Dufty, welcomed the continuation of CAPERS 2017 and the principals’ response to the constructive consultation.
“It is an obvious solution,” Ms Dufty said.
“Principals and staff were always committed to CAPERS. However, the late proposal of a change of date meant that the event clashed with other major school events.
“With the sensible decision to revert back to the original dates, schools are now able commit the numbers of staff and children required to make the event a huge showcase of the wonderful local talent.”
New England P&C District Council president Rachael Sowden welcomed the Department’s decision.
“I think that parents were certainly very concerned by the loss of CAPERS,” she said.
“I’m excited and pleased that the Department listened to the concerns raised by parents and reversed the decision.
“We applaud them for standing up and making the right choice for our children and I congratulate them in their ability to see the value of CAPERS – I can’t wait to attend.”
CAPERS choreographer and Tamworth dance studio owner Kellie Singh was overwhelmed by the change-of-heart on Thursday.
“It proves how important community spirit is,” she said.
“It is never too late to have a say and to provide amazing things for kids in public schools in this proud community of parents, who stood up and kids, who had petitions going.
“Also to our principals, who came to a great agreement to move forward as well, for the kids.”