Opinion

End of an educational era

By Shepparton News

The looming possible closure of Invergordon Primary School would mark a sad and unfortunate end to an era of schooling in the town.

There is no question any decision to push forward with a closure would must have proved a difficult one for all involved and one avoided for as long as possible by school chiefs, the council and parents.

This, even in spite of watching enrolment numbers decline year on year.

In the 20 years from 1998, the school witnessed a decline in students from 68 to just four.

The reality is it would also mark the continuation of a disappointing trend of organisations, community groups and sporting clubs becoming vulnerable to economic and industrial factors in small rural towns, and also regularly amidst difficult agricultural climates to operate in.

From all reports the close-knit Invergordon school community supported and were excellent advocates for this excellent community school, even in the midst of challenges.

Of the many sad elements to these developments is the prospect for those who are or have in the past been part of the school community, of seeing it disappear.

Much like footy clubs, Rotary clubs or other community organisations in small rural towns, much of the social activity revolves around such organisations.

They tend to be the beating heart of small towns like Invergordon and as such have been a key part of the lives of generations of residents of the town.

This also goes for newcomers to Invergordon, for those who choose to be part of the local community, where local organisations such as schools provide outstanding support and social networks.

But perhaps the saddest part of the story, is the question of what incentives can be created to ensure families continue to choose to live in a place like Invergordon.

For those who live there and currently attend the school, the closure will no doubt mean travelling elsewhere for education opportunities.

For now, it seems decision makers will keep an eye on demand, and should it rise, for re-staffing to be considered.

Irrespective of this, we hope and remain confident that the town can find ways to sustain its sense of community and continue to provide a great place to live for locals into the future.