West Swan MLA disappointed school plan excludes Caversham primary school

Rita Saffioti MLA with Josephine Dennis and her daughter Sofia (1) and local residents.  Picture: Bruce Hunt        d436635
Rita Saffioti MLA with Josephine Dennis and her daughter Sofia (1) and local residents. Picture: Bruce Hunt        d436635

WEST Swan MLA Rita Saffioti has renewed calls for a primary school in Caversham after the State Government announced funding for two new public schools in Perth’s southern suburbs.

Education Minister Peter Collier said $48 million would be spent building primary schools in Wandi, Wellard and Margaret River.

Ms Saffioti said she was disappointed the announcement overlooked the previously promised Caversham South Primary School, which the Government abandoned plans for earlier this year.

“The minister has failed to plan properly for the rapid growth in the north-east corridor,” she said.

“There is already a great demand on education services in the north-east corridor and a local school in Caversham South would take pressure off the existing schools in the wider area.”

The closest schools for children in the area are Caversham Primary School, which is actually north of Reid Highway in West Swan, and East Beechboro Primary School.

Caversham PS has 243 enrolled students, up from 227 in April, and a capacity for 270 students, while East Beechboro PS has about 390 students, though Mr Collier said there was capacity for another 140.

Ms Saffioti said Caversham was experiencing “massive growth” with a number of housing developments under way and new families moving in weekly.

“It’s simple – new and growing areas need schools and parents expect to be able to send their children to a nearby school when they build,” she said.

However, Mr Collier said there were strong growth and enrolment pressures in several areas of WA.

“The challenge for the State Government when deciding on locations for new schools is to identify which areas have the greatest need,” he said.

The Education Department had set aside future primary school sites in Brabham, Caversham, Dayton and Henley Brook but at this point, other areas in WA had a greater need for new primary schools, he said.