THE decision to close Tuart College has “gutted” student Carlo Meleca.
The State Government announced in December it would close the Tuart Hill school from 2019 as part of education cuts to reduce the budget deficit.
Mr Meleca, of Balcatta, decided to return to education after more than 30 years in an effort to attend university.
“There wasn’t much out there for me,” he said.
“I want to get to uni to better myself.
“It is a great shame.”
Tuart Hill resident Harriet Weare attended the college in the ‘80s and called the planned closure “a travesty”.
“It should remain as the institution it is now,” she said.
“It takes away that (local) opportunity for bridging courses to get into university.
“People do well there.”
Ms Weare said when she attended the college, the closest alternative was Canning College.
Students finishing their studies this year are continuing at the school but those studying courses that will run beyond 2018 are being redirected to other options, including university bridging courses, Cyril Jackson Senior Campus in Bassendean and North Lake Senior Campus in Kardinya.
Education Minister Sue Ellery said the school’s closure would save $3.5 million over the budget forward estimates.
“Enrolments declined between 2013 and 2017 and the wide range of pathways for students into universities has reduced the need for the number of ‘second chance’ schools,” she said.
“We plan to repurpose Tuart College from its current structure from 2019 and create an education hub.”
Ms Ellery said there would be community consultation, co-ordinated by Balcatta MLA David Michael.
Tuart Hill Senior High School opened in 1956 and became Tuart College in 1982, offering programs for students to complete equivalent Year 11 and Year 12 schooling, short courses and options for alternative entry to university.