Parents of children at an independent Catholic college are angry at plans to allow pupils to “learn at home” one day a week.
Chevalier College in the southern highlands of New South Wales, where annual fees exceed $11,000, offers students in years 10 to 12 to “learn at home” for one day a week.
Principal Greg Miller told parents that students in grades 10 to 12 would be “asked to learn at home on some Mondays” starting next year if they complete a special module, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
But parents at the school erupted in anger over the plan, with one even saying they had pulled their children out.
“We think kids should stay in school for five days, not hang out at home for a day,” said one parent who wished to remain anonymous.
Chevalier College in the southern highlands of New South Wales, where annual fees exceed $11,000, offers students in years 10 to 12 “learning from home” for one day a week (stock )
Parents at the school (pictured) erupted in fury over the plans, with one even claiming they had removed their children.
Former student Nicci Bauer, who now has children of her own at Chevalier, said she was concerned about the lack of consultation for the momentous decision.
“We are concerned about disruption, particularly for HSC students who will not be able to benefit from face-to-face teaching,” she said.
“There was little consultation, and this apparently went from a proposal to a done deal announced in a newsletter.”
Dallas McInerney, chief executive of Catholic Schools NSW, questioned whether it was a wise decision after many children suffered from forced learning at home during the pandemic.
“If COVID has taught us anything, students can really struggle when they are excluded from school,” he told the Herald.
“We should provide more school services to children, not less, and we know the social ills children suffer after long periods of out-of-school learning. So fresh out of the pandemic, is it really time to experience their future?
Mr Miller said students would continue to visit the school campus on select Mondays for events and the changes would “prepare students for success in the modern world”.
“This change will reduce face-to-face teaching, reinvent schedules and give teachers more time to complete their professional training,” he told the newspaper.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Chevalier College for comment.
Unlike public schools, independent establishments can set their own opening hours.
The Chevalier College has nearly 900 students and is led by priests and brothers of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.
Notable alumni include former New South Wales Premier John Fahey.