School falling into ‘disrepair’ after cuts

School falling into ‘disrepair’ after cuts

Since $10.5 million funding announced by the State Government in 2012 was deferred in 2013, school facilities have deteriorated, school council chairman Rik Fennell said.

‘The school hasn’t improved in its infrastructure; by pulling money away, it’s got worse,’ Mr Fennell said.

‘Funding needs to come back to the school in some form because it’s now in disrepair.’

While he praised staff and teachers at the school, Mr Fennell said they were working in poor facilities, particularly compared to newer schools like Butler College.

‘It’s like a dungeon that they have to work in,’ he said.

‘We’ve got the staff, we just don’t have the physical support.’

Mr Fennell said education was important and more resources were needed to match the local population growth.

‘They know how many blocks are being built on and how many people are coming in,’ he said. ‘With the growth, they haven’t turned around and said ‘we are putting a high school up here’.’

Mr Fennell said the council had discussed issues with government departments but so far no dates had been set for funding upgrades or to build more schools in the area.

He said he understood a high school needed three or four feeder primary schools, and those already existed with Yanchep District High School, Yanchep Beach primary, Two Rocks primary and Gingin District High School.

‘We need the region to stand up,’ he said. ‘Two Rocks, Yanchep Beach and Gingin are all affected by not having a decent school structure.’

Last week, Opposition education spokeswoman Sue Ellery and Butler MLA John Quigley visited Yanchepo high school to discuss funding issues with parents.

Ms Ellery said Yanchep, Gingin and four other schools had been removed from an upgrade program.

‘The decision to strip almost $20 million from the district high school upgrades program means six high schools will lose all of their funding,’ she said in a statement.

Education Minister Peter Collier said the government had deferred funding for six of the 27 schools identified for upgrades to design and technology, science and other specialist facilities.

‘These works will be considered as part of future budget processes,’ he said.

Mr Collier said they recognised the rapid population growth in the northern corridor but did not provide dates for funding or more public schools in Yanchep.

‘Butler College stage two will be completed mid-year, and new primary schools opened at north Butler and north Yanchep in 2014,’ he said. ‘Two new primary schools are scheduled to open in Alkimos in 2016 and 2017.’