DIOCESE of Maitland-Newcastle chief executive Sean Scanlon has told St Joseph's Primary Merewether he will not be delaying the transition of out of hours school care from private provider KCA to the diocese's St Nicholas brand, but would "take on board" concerns about the takeover process.
More than 50 people attended an emotionally charged meeting in the school hall on Monday night, a week after the diocese told KCA it was ending their operations and with a request to transfer the licence.
KCA's contract expires January 1.
Families asked questions about the reason for the decision, the lack of community consultation, the short notice given to them and KCA to make new arrangements, details about St Nicholas and if a transition period was possible.
"I'm happy to take everything on board but I'm not going to stand here and say we're going to reverse the decision," he said.
"I'm not going to give you that hope."
Mr Scanlon said the "genesis" for the change came after he received a call from a man whose daughter had been sexually assaulted at an OOSH attached to a Catholic school.
"[I thought] 'We need to take responsibility for child protection' and I took that to our diocesan leadership team," he said.
Mr Scanlon said the diocese made a decision between 12 and 18 months ago to move all licences to St Nicholas, which he hoped to do by the end of 2020.
"There hasn't been the consultation you're wanting and demanding," he said. "It's mostly been internal consultation."
He said an attempt to start broader consultation was quashed after media coverage about the plan in late October.
"The reaction was negative," he said. "We needed to act quickly, we needed to make this a speedy transition so we can move forward."
He said there was "nothing stopping us" delaying the take over past 2020. "[Delaying it] won't solve problems, it will create more problems."
Mr Scanlon said there was no policy around licence transfers but he was "happy to develop policy or look at clear procedures".
He said he could "hear the hurt this has caused and I apologise for that".
He said earlier his own family had been "harassed and trolled" over the matter.
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