Grades 7 to 9 from Bissen and Turbach will be integrated into the centre for upper school Oberstufenzentrum OSZ Ebnit, Gstaad in the summer of 2021. Officials explain that the number of pupils is and remains too low to continue these classes in Turbach. Classes up to grade 6 will remain in Turbach.
This decision was taken by the municipal council at the request of the commission for education. The municipal council had to react to the change in pupil numbers and the corresponding request by the cantonal school inspectorate, which is demanding the closure of a class within the municipality with a view to the 2021/22 school year. The closure of a second class for the 2022/23 school year is imminent.
Number of pupils
The number of pupils has fallen steadily over the past few years in the entire municipality. Whereas 20 years ago the number was 800, today it fluctuates around 500 today. As a result, 20 classes and four school buildings – Chalberhöni, Abländschen, Saanenmöser and Grund – have already had to be closed. The basis for this is provided by the cantonal guidelines on the number of pupils, which determine the number of children per class and regulate how to proceed if class sizes are too high or too low: the canton determines the number of classes per municipality, which in turn determines how the specified number of classes is to be implemented in organisational terms.
Since 2013, the school district Bissen-Turbach has been jointly organised with four classes for the eleven classes: Kindergarten and 1st to 3rd grade in Bissen, 4th to 6th grade and 7th to 9th grade in Turbach. Unfortunately, however, the number of pupils in the upper school is too low and a recovery is not foreseeable. Depending on the number of projected transfers to secondary school at the OSZ, an average of between nine and twelve pupils remains in for grades 7 to 9, which requires action in accordance with the cantonal guidelines.
For the Rütti Schoolhouse, the number of pupils in the lower and middle level up to 6th grade is currently extraordinarily low, following an unforeseeable accumulation of moves. The birth rate in the Rütti school district varies greatly from year to year between 14 and 24, which makes class organisation difficult. Nevertheless, the average class size is so low that classes are expected to be closed by the 2022/23 school year.
Based on AvS/Municipal council
The decision to close grades 7 to 9 at the school Turbach-Bissen has met with strong criticism from parents, pupils and inhabitants as a number of reader letters in reaction to the article in the Anzeiger von Saanen show. They demand the consideration of alternative options.