Bursting at the seams
WOODBRIDGE Primary School parents say their children’s playground is being gobbled up by transportable classrooms as the Education Department scrambles to deal with increasing student numbers.
P&C president Maureen Charles said a rapidly growing population in new housing subdivisions was putting the school under increasing pressure.
“With no apparent longterm plan to deal with the rising number of students, the limited play area at Woodbridge seems destined to be gobbled up by nine demountable classrooms unless the Education Department comes up with an alternative,” she said.
“Woodbridge Primary currently has 405 students on a 2.4 hectare site, far less than the standard 4ha required for a school.
“In 2015, when Premier Mark McGowan visited the school as Opposition Leader, he said the department’s plan to accommodate students in temporary buildings was ‘unacceptable’. He appears to have changed his mind.”
School board chairwoman Danielle McAuliffe called for a realistic plan of action to manage the increasing student population in the Woodbridge and Guildford intake areas, including removing the optional intake area north of the railway line, including Viveash.
“There is currently an initiative between Guildford and Woodbridge primary schools in which overflow students from the Guildford Primary intake area of South Guildford come to Woodbridge. Since Guildford Primary School is a heritage listed site, they cannot expand their classroom area for more students,” she said.
An Education Department spokesperson said while nine spaces had been identified as suitable for transportable classrooms if required in future, there were no plans to install this many at the school.
“Woodbridge Primary School currently has capacity to accommodate students entitled to enrol at the school,” the spokesperson said.
“As a result of increased population from new housing developments and changing demographics in the Midland area, the Department is investigating strategies to alleviate growing enrolment pressure at Woodbridge and Guildford primary schools.
“This includes additional facilities such as transportable classrooms, management of enrolments from outside of local intake areas and adjustments to the local intake areas.”
The spokesperson said the former Midland Primary School, which currently houses the Midland Learning Academy, could be considered for reopening.
A petition opposing the demountable classrooms will be presented to State Parliament’s Legislative Council this month by Opposition education and training spokeswoman Donna Faragher.
Woodbridge Primary School P&C president Maureen Charles and school board chairwoman Danielle McAuliffe with concerned parents and students.