Small Schools Association of South Australia History

The Small Schools Association of South Australia was born out of a need for small rural schools to come together and show some strength and solidarity. Prior to 1990 a number of ad hoc groups did this admirably within their regions. Two of these were the RURAL SCHOOLS’ ASSOCIATION and PROMOTING EYRE’S SMALL SCHOOLS. In fact these two groups instigated and supported the very first meeting of SSASA at Burra (Redruth Centre) on a winter’s weekend in 1990.

By today’s standards the facilities were Spartan but it was the roaring fire and the camaraderie that helped develop the ethos that SSASA embodies today.

SSASA’s first conferences were predominantly professional development exercises with a smattering of Department leaders.

They were held in the country and as centrally as possible. In fact the first seven years were country conferences before it was voted to move to Adelaide which was easier to access for many members.

In 1993 SSASA became more involved politically and industrially with its success in removing the Head Teacher and Rural Schools. In almost every case Rural Schools and their leaders became P3 schools with Principals at their head.

Since that time your SSASA has been very involved at every level of DfE and has exercised considerable influence on your behalf.

Over the years SSASA has maintained a very cordial relationship with DfE Chief Executives and various Ministers for Education. This close relationship has been borne out of honesty, frankness, genuine warmth and empathy – traits that are common to all those people successful in teaching and leading in small schools in South Australia.

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