We have learned of a student from a small Australian secondary school writing about the quality of her education and how it is misunderstood and not appreciated by government, with closure a constant risk as a result of such neglect:
"Living in Boort, school has always meant more to me than simply turning up in the morning and biding my time until the bell rang at three-thirty. Boort District School (formerly Boort Secondary College) has given me a chance to develop interests in a myriad of areas, some of which seem inconceivable for a P-12 school of two hundred students. Debating, rock climbing, surfing and snow skiing trips, have all been a part of my school experience. Having now completed year twelve, I do not feel I would have developed into a more valuable or well-rounded person if I'd attended a larger, less isolated school. So why are rural school students called 'disadvantaged' or considered lesser to their city counterparts?
From where I stand this mindset seems held not only by students from larger, wealthier schools but by the Australian Government itself. With Boort's 2012 VCE results ranked sixty-fourth out of over two thousand schools, it is clear that location has little to do with achievement. Small towns are declining in population and so rural schools are closing at an alarming rate. I think of all the ghost towns around Boort that once supported schools: I wonder if Boort will one day go the same way.
I'm sure when my grandfather was a child he would never have imagined the many small schools in the area becoming redundant in his lifetime. I hope my story brings to light just how special rural schools are, and provokes consideration regarding the journey towards giving them the support and acknowledgement they deserve.