MP urges school reform certainty

South Fremantle Senior High School.
South Fremantle Senior High School.

It has been a year since the State Government announced public secondary schooling in the Fremantle area would be looked at for reform and Ms McGurk said the community was still waiting on a number of decisions to be made.

Questioned by Ms McGurk at a recent sitting of parliament, Premier Colin Barnett said he and education minister Peter Collier became involved with schooling in the area because the community was unhappy with what was on offer.

‘They were unhappy with their choice, with the curriculum and with some of the standards in that area,’ he said.

‘I make the point, and I made it at the public meeting, that if it involves the amalgamation of schools, which it may well do, there will need to be public investment in raising the quality of those schools in both their physical environment and also in their teaching and the programs they offer.’

Ms McGurk said there had been continual refusal from the state government to confirm whether a new or amalgamated school in the area would have a GATE program, something that would be vital in driving enrolments.

‘There is a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty among parents and students about what is happening to their school,’ she said.

‘The sooner the government reveals its plan for school amalgamations and the GATE program the more certain parents and students can feel about their future.’

South Fremantle SHS Council chairwoman Rachel Robertson said they had made their support of a GATE program clear. ‘We believe such a program would complement our current approved specialist programs in music, marine studies and baseball and support our school’s science, maths and environmental focus,’ she said.

Mr Collier said he expected a decision by the end of the year.