Leederville education forum struggles to stay on topic

Leederville education forum struggles to stay on topic

ATTENDEES struggled to stay on topic at an education forum held in Leederville on Thursday night.

WA Labor hosted the forum to seek feedback from the community regarding the need for an inner-city school to meet future demands.

Opposition leader Mark McGowan and education spokeswoman Sue Ellery suggested an inner-city school may ease demand more than the announced City Beach school due to more infill in the inner-city suburbs and lack of major public transport links in City Beach.

He said he personally thought an inner-city school was a good idea.

Labor candidate for Perth John Carey said he had door-knocked most of the inner-city and feedback was a school as needed.

But when the floor was open for questions, only a few were about the topic on hand, with many raising concerns about the recently released Independent Public Schools report, teacher qualification, pay and teaching resources.

One resident said she believed there was a demand for a new school in City Beach and in the inner-city.

Another raised concern about the safety of students commuting to a City school on public transport and through the CBD.

Ms Ellery said some CBD schools were designed to keep students safe and would work with planning spokeswoman Rita Saffioti about it.

One resident suggested a CBD school share facilities with TAFE, but Ms Ellery said she was not keen on 12-year-olds on TAFE sites.

City of Perth councillor Reece Harley said the city was an educational “dead zone” and that there were several government owned blocks of land that could potentially host a school.

“I believe if you build it, they will come,” he said.

When asked what would happen if Labor was elected to government in March 2017, Ms Ellery committed to the same timeline as the current Liberal government.

“Our solution is we must match the 2020 timeline,” she said.

“We would also work within the budget the Liberals promised.”