KEIRA SCHOOLS BURSTING AT SEAMS

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Member for Keira Ryan Park MP says the Government’s school enrolment cap has failed to address overcrowding in Keira schools, with many remaining overpopulated and relying heavily on demountable classrooms

Labor has condemned the Berejiklian Government’s failed school enrolment cap crackdown, after forcing them to admit that 576 of the 1279 NSW schools subject to the cap are overcapacity. 

From mid-2019 the Berejiklian Government set a student population limit for each school based on its number of permanent buildings, preventing parents from enrolling their children in schools out of their immediate catchment area.

Member for Keira Ryan Park said: “Less than 12 months after it was launched the Berejiklian Government’s enrolment crackdown has caused nothing but anxiety for families having to split up their children, and failed to address the issue of overcrowding.”

“Schools in the northern suburbs of Wollongong are overcrowded because the Berejiklian Government has failed to build new infrastructure where it is needed and has instead stuck demountables on playgrounds like sardines in a tin. This is a problem of their own making.” Mr Park said.

Among some of the most overcrowded schools in the area are:

  • Austinmer Public School: with space for 162 students it’s at 190.7 per cent of recommended capacity with 309 students
  •  Pleasant Heights Public School: with space for 162 students it’s at 162.3 per cent of recommended capacity with 263 students
  •  Russell Vale Public School: with space for 185 students it’s at 154.6 per cent of recommended capacity with 286 students
  •  Keiraville Public School: with space for 231 students it’s at 151.5 per cent of recommended capacity with 350 students
  •  Woonona Public School: with space for 393 students it’s at 151.1 per cent of recommended capacity with 594 students

Mr Park said: “The enrolment caps limited the choice of parents to find a public school that best fits the needs of their child, and threatened to split up families. 

“Now we find out this flawed policy also has failed to stop overcrowding in our schools. The impact on families of potential double drop offs, and limiting their choice has been for nothing.

“These figures are particularly concerning, as politicians are planning to send children back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overcrowding in schools means that social distancing is just not possible in too many of our schools. This puts our teachers, and our children and their families in danger.”

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