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