Nikita, whose behavioural problems while at a mainstream high school included truancy, fighting and arguing with teachers, said six months at Catalyst had given her hopes and dreams.
She is completing Certificate II in community services through West Coast Institute of Training and wants to be a youth worker.
‘Catalyst isn’t just a school, it is a family, which helps you get through things,’ she said. ‘If Catalyst closes, I don’t know what I’m going to do.’
Fellow pupil Adam Haines (14), who hopes to be a bricklayer, said he was achieving in maths and English after a year at the boys’ campus.
Acting head principal Claudette Snell said she felt they were being judged unfairly using a measuring stick that did not fit this ‘different type of education’.
Catalyst offers basic subjects, certificate courses, wood/metal work, spray painting/panel beating and workforce preparation.