Victorian school collapses into administration, leaving families two days to find new schools for students

Teachers, families and students have been left in tears after a private Victorian school was placed into placed into administration.

Parents were told at a meeting last night that the Colmont School in Kilmore, just north of Melbourne, would no longer be operating for its students in Year 3 to Year 10 from Friday.

The families were told the school had gone into administration, and that administrators would try to keep it open for Year 11 and 12 students for as long as possible.

school building
The Colmont School in Kilmore has gone into administration. (3AW)

Students and teachers have been in tears at the school gates today.

“It’s heartbreaking and it’s terrifying because I don’t know if I am going to finish Year 12,” School captain Grace Heywood told 9 News.

“I thought COVID was the most absurd thing to happen in my education time, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming, and I think this takes the cake.”

“Everyone is in a state of shock, no-one really saw this coming.

“It was definitely a very emotional day.

“Everyone’s really sad because we’re such a tight-knit community and we just don’t want to see this school closed so everyone’s really emotional about losing their friends and teachers.

“It was a very heavy day.”

School captain Grace Heywood said the school closure was “heartbreaking”. (Nine)

Parents have also taken to social media to express their concern.

“Devastated tonight to learn that my kids’ school has gone into administration and that it will close in 2 days,” one has posted.

“WTF are we meant to do now? The school was working out so amazing for both of them. It’s going to be a tough few days.”

“We’re devastated,” a tearful mother said.

However, the late notice of last night’s meeting meant many parents and teachers did not attend, and did not become aware of the school’s impending closure until they arrived at school this morning

An email was sent to parents yesterday afternoon advising that the school had been placed into administration by the school board, but no time frame for the school’s closure was indicated.

“We understand that this will be unexpected and distressing news for your family,” the email read.

“The administrators will make decisions about how long the school and school boarding premises will continue to operate and inform families about this decision.”

The private school, which was previously known as the Kilmore International School, is one of the state’s few International Baccalaureate World Schools, and has students who board as well as day students.

Parents and students will have to travel more than 50kms to get to the closest school for that same education.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said the government will try to help the families affected by a Kilmore school closing. (Nine)

Mitchell Shire councillor and parent Nathan Clark said it was a “shock”.

“It’s completely out of the blue.”

“We have a lot of questions and we are hoping to see some answers from the administrators and the board.”

Premier Daniel Andrews has said his government will do anything it can to support the school, but explained the government’s ability to help would likely be limited due to the school being private.

“But if there’s anything we can do to support those parents,” he said.

“We’re ready and willing.”

A Department of Education and Training spokesperson has said it is working with Independent Schools Victoria on “contingency planning for students affected” by the school closure.

“The Department and the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority will provide information to families about alternative schools,” they said.

“Every Victorian child has the right to enrol at their designated local government school, or at another government school of their choice provided it has sufficient space to accommodate them.”

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