The two brothers changing lives at Gympie region school
Letter to the Editor
I read a Gympie Times article earlier this week reporting on a proposed investigation into some of our region‘s schools.
Our local school in Tin Can Bay was named as one of them. The article said staff, students and parents would be interviewed to see what could be improved and I would like the opportunity to be among those voices.
I have moved around a lot for work and my eldest son has attended the following schools:
- Sunshine Beach State School
- Noosaville State School
- Kawungan State School
- Windsor State School
- Kedron State High School, and now;
- Tin Can Bay School P-10
In my personal opinion, Tin Can Bay has been the best fit for my son and his grades have improved consistently since he started there.
In saying that, I also offer an unbiased opinion when looking at the school at a whole. I do not believe it is anything the school has done wrong. Tin Can Bay, Cooloola Cove and Rainbow Beach have traditionally been low socio economic areas, with lack of access to basic services, including good medical facilities and more.
Bullying has been a problem for the school, but no more than other schools my son has attended, the problem is, due to the small population of our region, it‘s sometimes hard for the kids to avoid their bullies outside of school hours. For example, there are only two parks in Cooloola Cove.
Together with the staff at Tin Can Bay, namely Tony Arthur, we are trying new strategies to combat some of the current bullying issues, and in my opinion, staffers such as Tony and his brother David, are going above and beyond to make this school the best it can be.
The only difference between other teachers are these two men grew up here. All of the teachers I‘ve had correspondence with at the school are great at their jobs; but the Arthur brothers have a vested interest as their mother taught there and they attended Rainbow Beach State School and Gympie High. They’re here to stay and want the best for their children and the local community.
The other major problem with the school is that it only goes to Year 10. There are several buses taking children from our region into Gympie‘s private schools each day. This does not include those high school children leaving to go to Gympie High, which is an option for Years 7-10, but is compulsory for those students completing Years 11-12. I know a lot of the parents send their children into Gympie as they don’t want to have them change schools and I know how they feel. The thought of sending my son to yet another new school concerns me as I can see how much he has improved since starting at Tin Can Bay.
I believe Tin Can Bay was always supposed to open to Year 12 on a year by year basis, but it didn‘t end up going ahead. I think now is the time to do this. Our real estate market is moving very quickly, new people have descended on the area, houses are being snapped up as quickly as they’re listed and we are very fortunate to have new owners of the local general practices who have invested a substantial amount of money to open a new practice in Cooloola Cove (previously they only had small services in Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay), with surgery/emergency facilities. In addition, it is my understanding that the enrolments at the school have increased substantially this year, and my daughter, who started Prep this year, is now part of a new composite class due to the increase in students.
I think a lack of funding has always been an issue as well. I know the government is always offering grants for schools, but I don‘t know if Tin Can Bay has the resources to apply for this funding.
Emily Black, Cooloola Cove