Perth Modern School parents not pleased with Labor plan to relocate


Education Minister Peter Collier, Perth MLA Eleni Evangel, with Perth Modern parents Jo Codling and Carolynne Ryall. Picture: Giovanni Torre
Education Minister Peter Collier, Perth MLA Eleni Evangel, with Perth Modern parents Jo Codling and Carolynne Ryall. Picture: Giovanni Torre

PARENTS of Perth Modern school students have voiced opposition to Labor’s plan to relocate the school at a forum in North Perth.

About 25 people attended the forum where Education Minister Peter Collier spoke on Friday.

Sonya Derry, president of Perth Modern P&C, but speaking as an individual parent, said she was concerned by the lack of consultation.

“I am totally opposed to the proposal. Perth Modern draws students from across the state. The solution (to demand for a new school) should not involve changing a school that is so successful,” she said.

Three other parents expressed concern, noting worries about the lack of green space and the proximity to Northbridge, and vowed to run a public campaign on the issue.

Labor education spokeswoman Sue Ellery told the Guardian Express that from opposition Labor was not able to discuss political policy matters with public servants.

“As the principal or their representatives are members of the P&C and school board that would have put them in a very difficult position,” Mrs Ellery said.

“We are committed to working with the P&C, the board and the extended school community on the name of the new site for the academic select school, the design, and on the transitional arrangements.

“The school community will be involved in the design of the new school. Every floor will have open outdoor learning areas and the top floor will be an open play space. There will also be an auditorium for performance space.

“A vertical school does not mean there will be no gardens or trees and it does not mean the playing space will only be AstroTurf. In fact, the podium area at the entry of the building offers great garden opportunities as do the open areas on each floor and the roof-top playing area,” she said.

Mr Collier described the plan as “reckless and wrong”.

“It will not solve the issue of western suburbs pressure,” he said, adding that if there were a change of government he would fight against the plan from opposition.

“We made the announcement of our plan in good faith in September. I always believed it had bipartisan support.”