You are here: Home / Media / Extra classes for inner city

Extra classes for inner city

Enrolments in inner-city public schools are on the rise, with primary and high schools forced to add extra classes to deal with the influx of 550 extra students this year, according to new Education Department figures reports Sandra Fonseca in Central of 8th October 2008.

Fort Street Primary School principal Tracy Gray said the Millers Point school would only take local students next year to help fight the dramatic surge in enrolments.

“It’s not just our school,” Ms Gray said. “All the city schools are experiencing a rise in numbers, which is great.

“We’ve got a strong teaching team and word-of-mouth is getting around.

“Next year we’ll only be taking local enrolments, we’re just too full for anything else.”

Ms Gray said many new enrolments were from parents who work in the city and find it more convenient to pick their children up from after-school care on the way home. She also said enrolments were increasing because more people were moving closer to the city.

“The city is becoming a popular place to live,” she said. “People like the lifestyle and there is lots of lovely high-rise accommodation going up and they’re close to everything.”

ABS Census data has indicated primary school enrolments rose by 6 per cent in public schools, and secondary enrolments rose by 13 per cent between 2001 and 2006.

Robyn Cowin, principal of JJ Memorial School, said the Mascot school would start two extra classes next year to meet demand. She said the school’s growing popularity was also because of an increasing confidence in public schools.

“We’ve seen a trend of lots of people from private schools coming to public schools,” she said. “We’re competing with a lot of private schools in the area, and we’re competing with the perception that private is better.”

Mrs Cowin said local schools were working hard to meet the community’s expectations about education.

“Why pay all that money when you can give students an education that will take them along every path they want,” she said.

“Public education is about quality education for everyone. It’s about making sure everyone gets the best possible chance in life they can.

“Despite some comments in the media, we are getting it right; statistics show numeracy and literacy levels are high.”

The Education Department’s regional director, Dr Phil Lambert, saidthe figures were encouraging. “Local families are recognising the world-class education in our government schools,” Dr Lambert said. “Enrolment increases can also be linked to broader policy decisions such as class-size reduction and gifted and talented programs in all secondary schools.”