Public schools shortage

Public schools shortage

By CHARLENE MACAULAY
 
13th November 2012 12:57:52 PM

PARENTS in Seddon, Kingsville and Yarraville (SKY) prefer to send their kids to public high schools – but the area still doesn’t have its own.

Research undertaken by the SKY High Working Group has identified that secondary college yield in SKY is 40 per cent higher than the rest of Melbourne combined.

Secondary college yield is the percentage of children in an area who attend a public secondary college, as opposed to the percentage of children attending any secondary college.

“The SKY secondary college yield of 50 per cent demonstrates the strong commitment to public education in this area, especially when compared to the Melbourne metropolitan average of 36 per cent,” SKY High member Janine Lloyd said.

“SKY children do not have a local public secondary college; our nearest public college is at least five kilometres away, the furthest that any children in Melbourne have to travel to a public high school.”

Ms Lloyd said the strong support for public schools in the region began from primary school, with 71 per cent of primary school aged children attending a public primary school.

She said the SKY primary school yield was 30 per cent higher than the rest of Melbourne.

The SKY area used to be served by the Footscray Yarraville High School and a Catholic High School until the early 1990s, when they were shut down by the Kennett Government.

Recent SKY High research found four out of five of last year’s Grade 6 students in the area are now enrolled in a public high school.

Of the four public primary schools in the SKY area, two now have zoning restrictions, and a third manages rising enrolments by implementing a neighbourhood policy.

Ms Lloyd said SKY High was concerned that progress towards a new high school in the region had stalled since the Ballieu Government was elected almost two years ago.

“There are now unexplainable delays on the part of both the Education Department and the Minister’s office that are creating frustration amongst our group and it is increasingly difficult to tell our membership of over 1300 families to be patient,” she said.

“Families in the SKY neighbourhood are leaving due to the lack of a high school. The fracturing of our community is no longer acceptable.”