Gilmore among WA’s richest school as Minister tells it to use savings

Education Minister Peter Collier told principals last week they should use their school’s savings to ‘provide additional staff or programs’, after the Government’s controversial education cuts announced recently.

The college was ranked 14th in a list of the top 100 richest public schools, judged by savings in the school bank account, released by the Education Department. It was one of six Rockingham and Kwinana schools in the list.

It could now have to dip into its $2,057,473.53 savings to cover the predicted shortfall in its budget due to government cuts that come into effect from January.

College principal Carolyn Cook told the Courier the money was saved to benefit the students’ education.

‘The $2 million was for items such as an electronic sign, security cameras, computers and furniture; it’s earmarked for the benefit of students,’ she said.

Mr Collier said parents would be surprised to learn how many schools had large sums of money.

‘These figures demonstrate just how well resourced our schools are,’ he said.

‘Principals are best placed to know what their schools need and how they use their bank account balances is up to them. I would expect that schools concerned about resources consider how their bank balances can be best used for their students.’

Rockingham MLA and Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said the Government was using the list to draw attention away from recent reports of staff cuts.

‘The fact that the Barnett Government is now attacking school budgets is ridiculous because they are raiding schools’ piggy banks; (schools) have worked hard to save this money for important initiatives,’ he said.

Warnbro MLA Paul Papalia said this was an attack on schools like ‘never before’ and would lead to industrial action.

Where our schools rank in
the top 100 richest schools:

– Gilmore College (14)
$2,057,473.53
– Safety Bay Senior High School
(40) $1,142,133.87
– Rockingham Senior High School
(53) $1,042,698.01
– Warnbro Community High School
(82) $818,320.17
– Comet Bay Primary School (99)
$726,874.54
– Baldivis Secondary College (100)
$718,323.61