THE State Government is pinning its hopes on the planned Inner City College to reduce student populations at two of Perth’s biggest public high schools.
Churchlands Senior High School is expected to peak at about 3000 students next year and continues to be Perth’s largest public secondary school, with 2718 students currently enrolled.
It also holds the title of most transportable classrooms on site at any Perth school; 34 remain despite 19 permanent classrooms added this year, only one less than it had in 2015.
Facility upgrades worth $35 million opened in February, including additional classrooms, 12 science laboratories, a technology centre and four rooms for media and art studies to “provide much-needed additional learning spaces”.
Nearby Shenton College is increasing at a slower rate but has 2080 students enrolled, making it the fourth-most populated public high school, and went from having no transportable classrooms in 2010 to 15 in 2015 and 19 this year.
Education Department infrastructure director John Fischer said the temporary buildings were used to cater for fluctuations in student enrolments.
“We also monitor enrolment trends at all public schools and plan for permanent facilities where there is a need to have lasting space for students into the future,” he said.
Primary schools in the area are also feeling the pinch, with Mt Hawthorn the second-highest populated public primary school in the north metropolitan region with 646 students and Wembley fourth highest with 616 students.
Last year, the State Government scrapped the previous government’s plan for a new City Beach high school, instead opting to build the Inner City College in Subiaco.
Education Minister Sue Ellery said numbers at Churchlands were forecast to peak before the college opened in 2020 and would then reduce.
She said the $46 million expansion of Shenton would finish next year and provide facilities for an additional 1000 years 11 and 12 students, which would take the school’s capacity to 2600 students.
“There has been significant growth in student numbers at schools in the western suburbs over the past five years, and that’s why we’re building a new school in Subiaco for up to 2000 students,” she said.
“Once the new Inner City College opens and new local intake areas are in place, student numbers at Churchlands Senior High School, Shenton College and Inner City College are expected to stabilise over time.”
She said the temporary classrooms would remain at Churchlands for the next few years and be removed in future when no longer needed, as student numbers declined from the peak.
When the college opens, Churchlands will lose current local intake areas Wembley and Glendalough, and parts of City Beach and Floreat, as well as former optional areas West Leederville, Leederville, Mt Hawthorn and Joondanna.
Wembley and sections of Floreat and City Beach lost from Churchlands will form part of Shenton’s intake area from 2020, and it will cede West Perth and Subiaco to the Inner City College, with parts of Subiaco and Jolimont to be optional areas for both.
The Inner City College intake areas will be Glendalough, Mt Hawthorn, Leederville, West Leederville, Subiaco, West Perth and parts of Perth and East Perth, with Joondanna an optional area for it and Dianella Secondary College and families in parts of Jolimont and Subiaco able to choose between it and Shenton.
Despite the relocation of The Japanese School in Perth and expected move of the International School of WA in 2020 from the former City Beach High School site, Ms Ellery said there were no plans for the land.
Perth’s biggest public secondary schools in 2018
Churchlands SHS – 2718 students
Willetton SHS – 2276
Rossmoyne SHS – 2111
Shenton College – 2080
Most populated public primary schools – north metro region
Ashdale – 682 students
Mt Hawthon – 646
Carramar – 640
Wembley – 616
Student populations –
Churchlands: 2271 (2015), 2486 (2016), 2581 (2017), 2718 (2018)
Shenton: 1875 (2015), 1946 (2016), 1969 (2017), 2080 (2018)