Mt Lawley MLA Michael Sutherland said, while schools would be ready to cater for Year 7 students transitioning to high school in 2015, the change would put added on strain on Mt Lawley SHS, which was seen as a popular choice.
‘Parents have this perception that Mt Lawley is the most sought-after school,’ he said.
‘We have got to make sure all schools are attractive to go to so we don’t have people storming to Mt Lawley.’
A $9 million learning block will be built near Stancliffe Street on the Mt Lawley SHS campus to cater for Year 7 students, increasing student numbers from 1344 to about 1500. Mr Sutherland said he was working with principals of other schools bordering Mt Lawley SHS’s intake area to help improve their facilities and promote the schools to parents and students.
‘We have good quality schools in the area that are quite well resourced but there seems to be a reluctance to go there,’ he said. Local intake areas for John Forrest SHS, Mirrabooka SHS, Churchlands SHS and Shenton College all border the Mt Lawley SHS intake area. Churchlands SHS and Shenton College are both receiving State Government funding to build new facilities to cater for Year 7 students.
Department of Education general schools acting deputy director Lindsay Hale said John Forrest and Mirrabooka SHS had adequate capacity to cater for Year 7 students (expected to be 120 and 170 respectively) in their local intake areas.
He said children living in a school’s local intake area would be guaranteed a place at that school, with recruiting underway to increase the number of secondary teachers. Parents could find their local school at the Schools Online website.