Need for another Perth Mod

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

PERTH Moder­nian So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Peter Farr says pop­u­la­tion growth should prompt plan­ning for a sec­ond selec­tive-stu­dent school for the top 2 per cent of WA’S stu­dents.

About 3500 Year 6s are wait­ing to vie for about 500 places in gifted and tal­ented pro­grams at Su­bi­aco’s Perth Mod­ern School and eight other high schools in Perth and Bun­bury.

Last week, the State Govern­ment scrapped mov­ing Perth Mod­ern School to a Perth CBD high-rise, af­ter par­ents and op­po­nents protested the lack of green space or con­sul­ta­tion.

The Govern­ment in­stead an­nounced $68 mil­lion for a new high school in Kitch­ener Park next to Perth Mod­ern. Re­fur­bish­ing the City Beach High School site for 600 stu­dents was re­jected be­cause Kitch­ener Park would serve in­ner-city pop­u­la­tion growth.

How­ever, western sub­urbs pub­lic schools con­tinue to be crowded be­cause of the clo­sure of Hol­ly­wood and Swan­bourne high schools, hous­ing in­fill, pop­u­la­tion growth and some pri­vate stu­dents re­turn­ing to the pub­lic sys­tem af­ter the min­ing boom.

Mr Farr said pop­u­la­tion growth should make the Govern­ment con­sider a sec­ond Perth Mod­ern-type school, pos­si­bly near Como, where stu­dents and teach­ers could con­nect with nearby Curtin Uni­ver­sity.

“If you look at the test for the top 2 per cent from the Year 6 co­hort, it’s a very high bar­rier to get over,” Mr Farr said.

“We could con­sider it to be a twoway street, with the gifted and tal­ented on one side, and as you go up through the school years there’s another stream con­cen­trat­ing on the sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths sub­jects.”

He said a south­ern sub­urbs site needed pub­lic trans­port ac­cess.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery said there were no plans for a sec­ond fully aca­dem­i­cally se­lect school.

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