The Wellington community got some great news last week when the Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst announced St Mary's Catholic School would continue to offer Kindergarten to Year 10 education. A letter was distributed to parents, informing them of the good news.
There had been concern within the community that the school might revert back to a primary Kindergarten to Year 6 school, leaving Wellington with no private secondary education.
However, after conducting a review and talking to the community, the Diocese of Bathurst decided against the change. The Diocesan Catholic Education Council and Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst worked with the community and stakeholders and decided to maintain the current structure.
I congratulate them on making this decision and the St Mary's Parents and Friends Association also worked extremely hard to make the decision was a positive one for Wellington. There was a great turnout to a community session held at the school in March and plenty of work afterwards too.
The Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst said the commitment by the community to implementing a strategic plan was a significant factor in their decision so it shows the effort made by everyone involved paid off. I think this is an outcome that will benefit both the community and the Diocese in the long term.
There is a concerted effort by Council and the people of Wellington to restore the town to its former glory. While the retail industry has gone through tough times and some of the town's infrastructure has dropped below standard but Council is working on that. From the moment it became public a review was being conducted and the future of the school was being considered, I said it was crucial Wellington was able to retain its education options. Having both public and private education as an option for parents and students is an advantage Wellington has over some similar sized towns. If there was no private secondary schooling in the town, that would be an advantage lost.
This Council wants to see Wellington grow and education is critical to attracting people to the town and keeping them here.
I also hope the Diocese are rewarded for their commitment by a boost in the number of enrollments. In their letter to parents, they said the successful implementation of the strategic plan was reliant on the commitment of the school and the wider community to ensure the success of the school.
A big part of that success is likely to be an increase in numbers to justify St Mary's place as a K-10 school and now Wellington has to do its bit. The community has done great work up to now and I think everybody has their fingers crossed the good work can continue and St Mary's can grow to be an even more vital part of the town than it already is. For now though, everyone should enjoy this great result and great outcome.