WHILE the Education Department has said it will not close Terara Public School, the future size of the school is still up in the air.
A department spokesperson said the capacity of the school would be discussed during term three but would not categorically rule out a major reduction in size.
Terara, east of Nowra, has a student population of 93, but the school community was rocked just over a week ago with the announcement of changes to out of zone enrolments and a capping of school numbers in line with the number of permanent classrooms.
Terara only has one permanent classroom, the beautiful historic sandstone building, with parents being told student numbers could be capped at just 27.
When questioned about that possibility, the department would not categorically say the school would not be reduced to 27 students.
Instead, it said a meeting between the school principal and the educational leadership director would discuss during term three the capacity of the school currently and into the future.
The spokesperson said "based on the current anticipated enrolment figures for 2020 at Terara Public School, enrolments will not be significantly different than they are currently".
That was well short of guaranteeing that at some stage students numbers wouldn't be reduced to 27 in line with the permanent building policy.
"In 2020 Terara Public School will accommodate all local area enrolments and siblings with exceptional circumstances will be accepted where possible," the spokesperson said.
For many years Terara Public has had a "siblings' rights" protocol, meaning, even if the prospective student lived "out of zone" they would still be enrolled at the school due to having a sibling as a student.
But a recent state-wide department directive to enforce out-of-area enrolments procedures could see that all change.
At least three quarters of Terara students are from outside the school's zone.
For more than 20 years Terera Public has had three demountable buildings, catering for three classes.
The department says it "does not have any plans at this time to replace the demountable buildings at Terara Public School".
The principal and the Director Educational Leadership will discuss the capacity of the school currently and into the future during term three.NSW Education Department
There was also no answer to the question of whether they would or could be reclassified as permanent buildings.
"The department will continue to monitor student demand in the area," the spokesperson said.
"During term three the principal and the Director Educational Leadership will discuss the capacity of the school currently and into the future.
"Any individual context considerations will be part of the considered discussions. "
In a letter to the South Coast Register, P and C member Vanessa Cladingbowl said parents' main concern was children with siblings already attending the school wouldn't be able to be automatically enrolled.
"Future families that are classed out of zone will not be able to experience the fantastic education and community spirit of Terara," she said.
"If the demountables are not classed as permanent buildings and our enrolment cap does not increase and stays at 27 this will affect future enrolment of the school including siblings as well as families classed as out of zone.
"Saying the school is saved is not the case - politicians and the education department are saying Terara Public School won't close but we are not concerned about closure of the school.
"Don't say we are safe as the enrolment cap and the decision to make our demountables permanent has not been decided.
"We will keep fighting as parents of Terara Public School ."
The department has previously stated the updated out of zone policy did not affect current enrolments or affect the viability of the school.
"Children have always been entitled to enroll in their local NSW public school, with principals able to accept out-of-area enrolments if places are available, and Terara Public School will continue to operate under this long-standing policy," the spokeperson said.
"If the school has capacity, out of area applications for siblings of current students are given priority.
"As they have in the past, exceptional circumstances will also be considered when assessing out-of-area enrolment applications."
South Coast MP Shelley Hancock said meetings with the minister's office and regional director regarding parents' concerns indicated there was no policy change to what has occurred previously.
"Out of area applications apply to a panel with siblings accepted as usual procedure," she said.
"There is no intention of closing this school. I would never allow the closure of this school."