Education department denies rumours of school closure in Cockburn

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE Education Department has denied rumours it has considered closing or amalgamating one of three Cockburn primary schools due to low student numbers.

Neighbouring Southwell Primary and Spearwood Primary have seen a steady decline in student numbers since the 2015 move to put Year 7s in high school, Southwell from 88 to a 2018 student population of 70 (excluding kindergarten students) and Spearwood from 170 to 108.

Phoenix Primary, also in the area, saw a increase in the same period from 164 to 208.

A department spokesperson said rumours one of the three schools being closed or amalgamated were unfounded.

“There are no current plans to close or amalgamate these schools,” she said.

She said they looked at recent trends before considering whether a school should be closed.

“The department looks at whether there has been consistently low enrolments for at least two years and that there is no indication for growth in the foreseeable future,” she said.

“We also take into account if there is a nearby school that can accommodate students if a school is being considered for closure.

“Another consideration is if a school does not cater for special groups of students, such as those enrolled in an Intensive English Centre, and there is no intention to change this in the future.

“However, the unique needs of each community are always considered and not all schools that meet this criteria will be necessarily recommended for closure.”

Student numbers at Cockburn schools 2015/2018 (Semester 2)

Atwell College: 1286/1411

Atwell PS: 678/710

Aubin Grove PS: 837/999

Beeliar PS: 433/405

Bibra Lake PS: 299/277

Coogee PS: 455/440

Coolbellup CS: 200/218

East Hamilton Hill PS: 140/167

Hammond Park PS: 292/526

Harmony PS: 603/521

Jandakot PS: 425/458

Lakeland SHS: 724/652

Newton PS: 211/202

Phoenix PS: 164/208

South Coogee PS: 394/402

South Lake PS: 257/239

Southwell PS: 88/70

Spearwood Alternative School: 79/82

Spearwood PS: 170/108

Success PS: 596/611

Yangebup PS: 238/233