Campaign secures Toowoomba campus split

The voices of Toowoomba State High School QTU members, students and parents have finally been heard, with the news that its two campuses are to split.

The campaign prompted Education Minister Kate Jones to announce that the Wilsonton campus of Toowoomba SHS will split away and become a stand-alone school in its own right. After 18 years of success in association with the Mt Lofty Campus, the new school will be even better positioned to respond to local community needs.

This exciting and historic announcement has been in the making for many years, as QTU members lobbied the department for the two campuses to become stand-alone schools. It came to a head earlier this year following a comprehensive community consultation.

The Minister made the announcement during term three when she visited the Wilsonton campus and announced that it would be splitting from Mt Lofty to form a new high school with a new name, uniform and its own identity, starting in 2017.

Both Mount Lofty and Wilsonton will have new principals, with the department announcing that Tony Kennedy would lead Toowoomba State High School and Marcus Jones would take the helm at the new state high school. Both principals will begin at their respective schools in term four.

Term four is a busy time for all schools, but it will be even busier for QTU members at the new school as it begins preparation for re-opening in January 2017. 

A committee of five teachers, five parents and five past students will commence consultation regarding the phase in of a new identity for the school. Several measures are being taken to simplify any transition and to support families with the planned change. Cloth patches, phasing in colours and subsidised sports uniform shirts will be made available.

While on site, the Minister also announced that design works will commence now for a new school hall at the Wilsonton site, which will be funded to the tune of $5 million in the next State Budget. The design and planning of the hall will begin this month.

Ms Jones said: “We are not only providing the school with the leadership and its own determination for the future, but also the infrastructure that this school needs to ensure that it flourishes”.

Zeb Sugden                                                                                                                       South Queensland Organiser

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 121 No 7, 30 September 2016, p4