Save Chatswood Intensive English Centre
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Chatswood Intensive English Centre (CIEC) first opened in 1979, with the advent of multiculturalism as official federal and NSW government policy. Since then, teachers have prepared wave after wave of newly arrived migrants, refugees and, since 2007, international students, for successful participation in their local high schools.
However, as our school community prepares to celebrate our 40th anniversary next year, we are fighting for our very survival.
Schools Infrastructure NSW (part of the NSW Department of Education) has devised plans for a "Chatswood Education Precinct" to accommodate a mini demographic boom in our local community. It is to include a new 10-12 campus (where Chatswood Public School currently is), and a K-9 campus (where CHS and CIEC currently co-exist). CIEC is not included in the precinct, a fact that we only found out in September. We were not consulted, and we've not been told where we are moving to, or if we will continue to exist at all.
We are are concerned that our exclusion coincides with the Premier's plan to slash migration numbers into NSW by 50%.
We want Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who happens to be our local member, to step in to ensure that Chatswood IEC is included as part of the Chatswood Education Precinct.
Failing that, we want assurances that if we are relocated, that we will be within walking distance of both Chatswood train station and Chatswood High School, with whom we have strong educational connections. There is no other public transport hub in Northern Sydney that is remotely comparable to Chatswood. Our students already travel long distances (from as far as the Central Coast and right up and down the Northern Beaches). At the end of this term, our current graduating students will be exiting to 31 different high schools within our massive drawing area.
We are a group of teachers at Chatswood Intensive English Centre. Many of us have taught here for decades, dedicating a large proportion of our working lives to ensuring that newly arrived teenage migrants, refugees and international students receive the caring, supportive, and pedagogically sound environment from which they can blossom, attend mainstream high schools, and go on to be active and informed residents and citizens of their new country.
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