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Inner city schools for inner city kids

By Ellen Sandell - State MP for Melbourne

We know what makes our inner city great; vibrant arts and culture, our intricate network of laneways lined with cafes and shops, our bustling streets and lovely parks laid out more than a century ago.

But with more people moving into our inner city, it doesn’t leave much room for new schools for inner city families who live here. So where can we build new public schools to educate inner-city kids?

A new primary school for Docklands

I’ve been proud to lobby our state government for a new public primary school in Docklands, which just opened this year! It has already been a huge success, with over 230 children already enrolled. But more needs to be done to provide public schooling for our inner-city kids. I recently visited the new Docklands Primary School to present the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at an all-school assembly full of bright young minds and two newly-elected school captains.

This new vertical primary school is a great win that belongs to so many local parents who worked with my office on the “Inner City Schools 4 Inner City Kids” campaign back in 2014 and 2015.

What about the future, and high schools?

New primary schools are fantastic, but our kids grow up so fast and before we know it they’ll be heading off to their first days of high school. And where will they go? University High School in Parkville and Princes Hill in Carlton North are both overflowing with students and their catchment areas are experiencing growing pains.

The solution: build more!

Schools are central to community. Building new schools in our inner-city suburbs not only provides a world-class education for our kids but also binds our community together.

With the Arden-Macauley precinct being developed in North Melbourne, we have an opportunity to build more public primary and high schools to help address this need. But we also need to look closely at how development is done in the CBD, and lobby the state gov- ernment to provide space for primary and high schools, not just more apartment towers.

If you’re a local parent living in the CBD and have questions about local public schools or ideas about the future of public education in Melbourne, I’d love to hear from you! •

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