Manly MP, James Griffin has thrown his support behind an ePetition opposing a reduction in Opportunity Class (OC) places in seven NSW Public Schools, including Balgowlah Heights.

Mr Griffin said the decision to halve the number of quality OC places in these schools fails to uphold the Minns Labor Government’s own commitment to support our public schools.

“While creating new OC classes in schools which currently don’t offer them is welcome, it shouldn’t be at the cost of schools which have been successfully conducting the classes for their intellectually gifted students.”

Mr Griffin said, “Instead of creating new OC places to accommodate population growth, the proposal rearranges existing places, which could harm the quality of the NSW OC program.”

The petition highlights the potential adverse impacts of the proposal.

  • It halves access to well-established OC places, which predominantly serve
    students who could not otherwise attend these schools and are willing to travel to
    do so.
  • It compromises learning outcomes by moving children to schools with no
    experience in delivering OC programs or into composite year 5/6 classes, where
    only half the time is spent delivering their curriculum.
  • It affects the emotional well-being of intellectually gifted students with special
    needs who require extra support.
  • It places greater strain on teaching staff, who will struggle to deliver a quality
    program to students at significantly different learning stages and maturity levels in
    the same class.
  • It reduces learning resources and highly qualified staff in OC schools,
    negatively impacting other teachers, students, and the broader community.

Mr Griffin said, “The petition asks the NSW Legislative Assembly to call on the Government to refrain from implementing cuts to existing OC schools and engage with the community on any proposed changes."

“If you agree to the ePetition please click on the link below and add your name.  Alternatively, contact my office on 9976 2773 and ask for the link to be emailed to you,” Mr Griffin said.