Labor has condemned the Berejiklian Government’s failed school enrolment cap crackdown, after forcing them to admit that 576 of the 1279 NSW schools subject to the cap are overcapacity.
From mid-2019 the Berejiklian Government set a student population limit for each school based on its number of permanent buildings, preventing parents from enrolling their children in schools out of their immediate catchment area.
Labor Shadow Minister for Education Prue Car said: “Less than 12 months after it was launched the Berejiklian Government’s enrolment crackdown has been a fiasco. 45 per cent of affected schools are over capacity.”
It has caused anxiety for families who faced having to split up their children, and hasn’t helped solve the overcrowding crisis in our schools one bit.
“Schools in NSW are chronically overcrowded because the Berejiklian Government has failed to build new schools where they are needed and has instead stuck demountables on playgrounds like sardines in a tin. This is a problem of their own making.”
Among some of the most overcrowded schools in the State are:
• Ropes Crossing Public School : with space for 231 students it’s at 360 per cent of recommended capacity with 832 students
• Kellyville Ridge Public School: with space for 324 students it’s at 247.5 per cent of recommended capacity with 802 students
• John Palmer Public School (The Ponds): with space for 416 students it’s at 222.6 per cent of recommended capacity with 926 students
• Parramatta North Public School: with space for 208 students it’s at 208 per cent of recommended capacity with 433 students
Labor MLC Courtney Houssos said: “The enrolment caps limited the choice of parents to find a public school that best fits the needs of their child, and threatened to split up families.
“Now we find out this flawed policy also has failed to stop overcrowding in our schools. The impact on families of double drop offs, and limiting their choice has been for nothing.
“These figures are particularly concerning, as politicians are considering sending children back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overcrowding in schools means that social distancing is just not possible in too many of our schools. This puts our teachers, and our children and their families in danger. It’s just another out-of-touch decision by the Liberals and Nationals.”