Pupils outnumber school places in outer north

Melbourne’s outer north is facing an “alarming” shortage of secondary schools, education experts are warning. 

An analysis of primary and high school enrolments across Melbourne by independent career and school consultancy firm Good Education Group found insufficient high schools in the north to cope with ballooning numbers of primary students in the region.

It found that the 3064 postcode, which covers Craigieburn, Mickleham and Roxburgh Park, has four secondary schools currently catering for 3688 students.

But there are 7988 students enrolled in the area’s 13 primary schools.

The group’s head of data and analytics, Ross White, said the data meant that, over the next decade, the burden on secondary schools in the area will increase by 115 per cent as those 7988 students make their way to high school.

He said figures were similar across the northern suburbs, where 73,000 students will need to squeeze into 61 secondary schools that currently educate 45,000 students.

Mr White said the data shows a need for more secondary schools in the outer north, adding that the opening of more Catholic and independent schools could help ease the burden on the state government.

“There aren’t very many independent schools in the Craigieburn area, but our research shows that 25 per cent of students who start their school life at a government school will finish at a non-government school,” he said.

“The data is a call to action for mums and dads to think about what’s available for their children.”

Education and training department spokesman Alex Munro said the state government had spent about $30 million on school infrastructure in Hume over the past two budgets.

“Our school infrastructure spending is prioritising communities that need it most … booming suburbs like Craigieburn, Mickleham and Roxburgh Park,” he said.

To learn more about the school shortages in other areas of Melbourne, see Good Education Group’s blog post – Shortage of high schools for a growing student population

 

This article originally appeared in the Star Weekly – Pupils outnumber school places in outer north

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