Bursting at the seams

Picture: File image.
Picture: File image.

Student enrolments at Meadow Springs Primary School have continued to grow since the school opened last year.

Installation of 10 demountable classrooms took place in December 2012 to accommodate students, Department of Education executive director of infrastructure John Fischer said.

‘It is expected that student enrolments at Meadow Springs Primary School will continue to grow this year and beyond, so we’ve put arrangements in place for an extra six new transportable classrooms which are scheduled to arrive in late April,’ he said.

Since 2012, the school population at Meadow Springs Primary School has grown from 438 students to 857.

Mandurah MLA David Templeman ” a former schoolteacher ” said overcrowding did not just put pressure on parking and staffing.

‘The biggest issue apart from safety is the classes having to be restructured,’ he said. ‘From an organisational perspective for a principal it’s a real challenge if classes go over the limit, and parents get upset if their kids are shuffled around.’

Mr Fischer said a new primary school at Lakelands, due to open in 2015, would ease pressure on Meadow Springs Primary School.

‘In 2015 public primary schools will only take students from Kindergarten to the end of Year 6, with Year 7 students going to secondary school, so this will leave more space in primary schools,’ he said.

Mr Templeman said that given the numbers, it was now critical the Department of Education cleared the planning for the proposed Lakeland’s primary school and looked at opening a section early.

‘I don’t know why they can’t start early,’ he said.

‘But, I also have concerns about the site they have chosen. It is directly adjacent to Mandurah Baptist College and I am concerned there are going to be traffic issues.

‘There are more than 1000 students at Mandurah Baptist.’

Overcrowding at South Halls Head Primary has resulted in two classes receiving their education in the school’s library and art room.

The students are due to move to two demountable classrooms this week.

When the proposed school at Lakelands was announced in December last year, many Times readers responded that there was a need for a high school in Dawesville.

However, Education Minister Peter Collier put a dampener on this idea.

‘According to forecasts by the Department of Education, the number of secondary students over the next few years does not currently justify the building of a new school,’ he said.

‘The Liberal-National Government constantly monitors population trends and infrastructure development in areas across Western Australia and the building of all new schools is planned well in advance.’

Dawesville MLA Kim Hames said he supported the need for a high school in Dawesville in the future.

‘The collaborative schools arrangement between the three existing high schools is catering for high-school needs at present,’ he said.

‘The State Government has, however, purchased land for a future high school.

‘I would support a high school in Dawesville but accept that the Education Department ultimately determines school locations for future education needs.’