A Warm Welcome!
Recent media attention has been on local primary schools, with one of our local schools having enrolments of well over 1000 students. Ideally, local primary schools should have around 450 students.
As the only primary school in Southern River, Bletchley Park Primary school, has a large catchment area, but despite its size it is still highly sought after by parents. I get repeated requests from parents who live outside of the Bletchley Park Primary School catchment area, to lobby the Minister for Education to change to boundaries so as to include their area, so that their child can go to this great school! Having said that, I work closely with all of our local school communities and I believe we are very fortunate in the electorate that all of our schools are exceptional.
But the area will be home to another primary school, opening as soon as 2019. The Education Department has two new school sites earmarked for development and is expected to make a decision of the location for the new school within months. The final location will depend on the Department being able to acquire the land and the developer providing services to the site.
Obviously as the state population has grown many more schools have been needed and the Education Department has built 41 schools since 2009. We are investing $1.089 billion over the next four years – including $300 million in 2016-17 alone – to build 21 new schools and improve existing schools – that’s 14 new primary schools and seven new secondary schools to open by 2020. The attached map is small but you can see the many locations across the metropolitan area that will be getting new or replacement schools.
The total Education budget has gone from $2.84billion in 2007-08 under Labor to $4.84billion in 2016-17. That’s a massive 70.3% increase! And expenditure per student each year has gone from $11,833 to $16,784 over the same period.
The Liberal Coalition Government has continued to increase spending on Education and is providing the very latest in learning environments, while continuing to invest in technology, pastoral care, early childhood and school reform.