‘No plans’ to close schools
THE Education Department has denied rumours it has considered closing or amalgamating one of three Cockburn primary schools due to low student numbers.
Neighbouring Southwell primary and Spearwood primary schools have seen a steady decline in student numbers since the 2015 move to put Year 7s in high school – Southwell from 88 to a 2018 student population of 70 (excluding kindergarten students) and Spearwood from 170 to 108.
Phoenix primary had an increase in the same period from 164 to 208.
A department spokeswoman said rumours of one of the three schools being closed or amalgamated were unfounded.
“There are no current plans to close or amalgamate these schools,” she said.
She said the department looked at recent trends before considering whether a school should be closed.
“The department looks at whether there has been consistently low enrolments for at least two years and that there is no indication for growth in the foreseeable future,” the spokeswoman said.
“We also take into account if there is a nearby school that can accommodate students if a school is being considered for closure. Another consideration is if a school does not cater for special groups of students, such as those enrolled in an Intensive English Centre, and there is no intention to change this in the future.
“However, the unique needs of each community are always considered and not all schools that meet this criteria will be necessarily recommended for closure.”