Local schools are overflowing

Local state schools are overflowing, with many of the government schools available to inner-city students above capacity, according to a local lobby group.

Data collected by local parent lobby group City Schools 4 City Kids (CS4CK) revealed just one of seven local primary and secondary state schools it looked at was yet to exceed its total capacity this year.

The group found enrolment levels at Port Melbourne Primary School, North Melbourne Primary School, Carlton Gardens Primary School, Albert Park Primary School, University High and Albert Park College had all exceeded the schools’ total capacity this year.

The total capacity figure refers to both permanent infrastructure and portables.

The figures collected by CS4CK reveal the schools have had to find room for an additional 361 students above their total capacity this year.

The only local school assessed by CS4CK that was yet to reach its total capacity in 2016 was Kensington Primary School.

However, with 485 students enrolled this year the school is creeping very close to exceeding its total capacity of 500.

CS4CK collected the current enrolment numbers by contacting the school administration and via the My School website.

The enrolment figures collected by the lobby group contrast with figures provided by the Education Department in its report on stage one of the school provision review for Docklands.

According to CS4CK, the government’s figures used in the stage one report consistently underestimate current student enrolments year on year and in future projections.

Although the figures used by CS4CK differ from the Department of Education and Training’s, even the government’s figures reveal many local primary schools were expected to exceed capacity this year.

The stage one school provision review for Docklands assessed capacity across Albert Park Primary School, Carlton Gardens Primary School, Debney Meadows Primary School, Footscray City Primary School, Kensington Primary School, North Melbourne Primary School and Port Melbourne Primary School.

A November 2015 forecast found that in 2016 enrolments would exceed total capacity across the schools by 224 students. By 2020 this number was expected to jump to 1353 students.

Secondary schools assessed by the review included Albert Park College, Footscray City College, Mount Alexander College, Princes Hill College, and University High School.

Overall, the review found there would be room for approximately 715 additional students across the schools in 2016.

However, it was anticipated individual schools, such as Albert Park College and Mount Alexander College would exceed their total capacity by 83 and 418 students respectively in 2016.

DET spokesperson Alex Munro said the Victorian Government had funded a further 23 new schools in the recent state budget.

“This includes $99.4 million for four new schools to service Melbourne’s inner-city communities, with new schools in Richmond and South Melbourne,” Mr Munro said.

Mr Munro said the department was also supporting schools to manage enrolment pressures and accommodate Melbourne’s growing population.

“For example, an extra eight classrooms have been provided to North Melbourne Primary School to relieve immediate demand in the form of two state-of-the-art, double-storey relocatable buildings. The first of these new classrooms is now being installed and will be ready for classes by the start of next term,” Mr Munro said.

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