Overcrowding blamed for number of demountables in Armadale, Gosnells and Serpentine Jarrahdale schools

A demountable classroom.
A demountable classroom.

DEMOUNTABLES are becoming a common sight as schools across Perth deal with overcrowding.

As of the latest figures from March 31, nine primary schools within Armadale, Gosnells and Serpentine Jarrahdale had 10 or more transportable classrooms installed on their grounds.

Among those with the most were Harrisdale Primary School, which ranked fifth in the state with 24, while Bletchley Park Primary School in Southern River also made the top 10, ranking sixth with 22.

Churchlands Senior High School tops the list with a massive 34 demountable classrooms.

New schools still under construction, including Piara Waters’ Aspiri Primary School and Southern Grove Primary School in Southern River, were not included.

A Department of Education spokesperson said transportable classrooms were used to cater for fluctuations in student enrolments.

“The Department monitors enrolment trends at all public schools and plans for permanent facilities where there is a need to have lasting space for students into the future,” she said.

“Trends show that the student population in new suburbs generally grows quickly in the first 10-15 years and then declines as the residential area develops.

“The Department designs new schools to meet this growth pattern, using transportable buildings to manage the initial changes in student enrolments, to reduce underutilisation of permanent classrooms in the longer term.”

The spokesperson said pressure on classroom availability would be lessened once the area’s new schools opened.

“It is anticipated that over time the number of transportable classrooms currently used by schools in the local area will decline as new schools open nearby and reduce the current enrolment levels,” she said.

“This includes new primary schools in Southern Grove and Aspiri, which opened for kindergarten and pre-primary students this year and will open for K-6 in 2019, as well as Byford South East opening in 2020.”

How many demountables are at your school? (as of March, 2018)

Harrisdale PS: 24

Bletchley Park PS: 22

West Byford PS: 18

Challis PS: 16

Piara Waters PS: 16

Caladenia PS: 12

Kenwick School: 12

Canning Vale College: 11

Byford Secondary College: 10