A RISE in residential growth in the Perth inner city and urban fringe areas has contributed to a general trend of increasing student numbers in WA public schools since 2009, according to the WA Education Department.
In 2017, there were 302,271 students in 802 public schools compared to 258,132 students in 2009.
Out of the total number of students in 2017, there were 197,347 primary and 104,924 secondary students.
Statewide planning and delivery assistant executive director Pam Moss said the overall increase in demand for schools was not the same level across the metropolitan area.
“The Perth inner city and older inner suburbs are experiencing a period of renewal and increasing residential diversity as more families choose to live in these places,” she said.
“This is part of what demographers call the ‘return-to-the-city’ movement, as professional couples who choose to live in or near the city to be closer to work, remain in the area once they start families.
“This has resulted in a surge in student numbers at public schools for families from suburbs including Highgate, Inglewood, Mount Hawthorn, North Perth, Subiaco, Victoria Park, Wembley and West Leederville.”
Ms Moss said urban fringe areas including Alkimos, Baldivis, Byford, Caversham, Ellenbrook, Landsdale, Mandurah, Southern River, Wattle Grove, Wandi, Wellard and Yanchep, experienced rapid residential growth.
She said the Department monitored population trends impacting on all public schools and would continue to provide students with access to high quality education as the WA population grows.
“In the past five years, we have built 22 new public schools – 17 primary and five secondary – in the metropolitan area,” she said.
“A range of innovative new public schools – such as Inner City College (planning name) in Subiaco – are being planned to open in coming years.”
Where public schools are becoming full, the Department can create local intake areas, remove optional local intake areas, move a specific education program to another school, put transportable classrooms in place and build new schools.