P&C treasurer claims school ignored complaints about unairconditioned classroom

A parent at Stanthorpe State High School has questioned why an unairconditioned room not deemed a classroom was being used to teach students. Picture: FILE/EMILY-ROSE TOOHEY

By Jeremy Cook

The treasurer of a P&C association has criticised Stanthorpe’s only public secondary school for ignoring complaints about an unairconditioned classroom they claimed had failed to meet minimum standards.

Stanthorpe State High School parent and P&C treasurer Kelly Moore said questions about why students were being taught in the school’s A08 room, which up until March had no air conditioning, had gone unanswered.

“Surely the school has a duty of care to its students to ensure they are taught in a classroom which meets government standards and complies with minimum requirements,” she said.

Ms Moore claimed at one point during a class in room A08, students were reportedly unable to focus due to the heat.

“At one point some students from this class were unable to concentrate and asked to leave the room but were told no,” she said.

“At another point students were given permission to leave the class and go to the library to complete the work due to the room being too hot.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said air conditioning had been installed in 33 spaces at Stanthorpe State High in late-2020 under a Queensland government plan to air condition every single public school classroom across the state.

But room A08 was ruled ineligible under the plan “as it was not a classroom”, according to the spokesman.

That revelation posed several questions for Ms Moore.

“My original question was why is it not air conditioned followed by, since it’s not a classroom why are students being sent there for classes every day for Maths?,” she said.

“How can they claim all classrooms are air conditioned then teach in a room that is not a classroom?

“How can the government decide a room is not a classroom and then allow the school to use it in such a manner?”

A Department of Education spokesman said air conditioning had recently been installed in room A08 “to support teaching and learning”.

“The school is currently under enrolment capacity and should a teaching space become unsuitable for a variety of reasons, classes can be relocated to other appropriate spaces,” he said.

Though Ms Moore claimed the school dismissed suggestions to move classes to rooms she said were more suitable while her official complaints had proven ineffective.

It was only until another parent got in contact with a government cabinet minister, she said, that work to install air conditioning in the room began.

“It seems rigid thinking, a lack of common sense, and being stuck in the old ways are the norm,” Ms Moore said.

The school was contacted for comment but did not respond.