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Pressure is on for a secondary school too

28 Feb 2017

By next month, Docklanders should know the location of their new state primary school, but lobby group City Schools 4 City Kids is keeping up its pressure for a local secondary school too.

Last month the group accused Education Minister James Merlino of misleading Parliament in answer to a question from local MLA Ellen Sandell.

“It appears that you have either misled parliament, or your department has misled you,” City Schools 4 City Kids said in an open email.

The dispute of over enrolment numbers at University High where Docklands students are now zoned to attend. City Schools 4 City Kids contends that the school simply won’t cope with the numbers of local students wishing to attend, even if it discontinued its select entry science programs.

Mr Merlino told Parliament on January 30: “Including Docklands and the CBD in the enrolment zone will not increase existing student numbers. It simply means places must be offered to local students first before being filled up by students from outside the enrolment zone.”

But City Schools 4 City Kids says the department own research shows that the school will very shortly be at capacity.

The group says the school will be 39 per cent over capacity by 2020 and local demand alone will reach 2616 students by 2026.

“In the context of your department’s own data and analysis, your answer to Ms Sandell’s second question relating to the rationale for not making the proposed new school in Docklands primary and secondary was perplexing: ‘The government will be identifying a site for a secondary school at Fishermans Bend to support Docklands families into the future’.”

“Fishermans bend will house 150,000 residents (the population of Ballarat), so of course you’ll need to build a secondary school to meet demand for the new residents!” the group said.

“But what about the kids in the CBD, West Melbourne, North Melbourne and Carlton (all places with new and planned additional high density apartments)?”

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