Bundy schools bursting at seams
STUDENTS are being packed into Bundaberg’s schools, with some full or above capacity due to huge enrolment figures.
Education Queensland figures show Woongarra State School is the region’s most crowded, with the school at almost 102% capacity – or 478 students enrolled despite a capacity of just 473.
Bundaberg East State School follows closely behind with 99% capacity, with Avoca State School at 92% and Norville State School with 91%.
But parents at Woongarra State School are not concerned with the overcrowding issue.
Kalkie mother Marika Kerr said she was not worried about class sizes for her daughter Brooke, in Prep, and her son Baaley, in Year 6.
“I chose Woongarra because it’s out of town and it’s a little country school,” Ms Kerr said.
Another mum, Janet Nicol, of Bargara, could not fault the school despite the high enrolments.
“I had heard nothing but positive things about Woongarra. It seemed like the only place to send them,” Ms Nicol said.
The capacity figures for the schools also show worrying signs for when Year 7 moves to high school in 2015.
The three state high schools in Bundaberg all have a capacity of more than 80% – a figure that will increase dramatically when an extra year level is added.
Greg Peach, North Coast regional director of the Department of Education and Training, said the capacity of all schools was being monitored.
“Schools, where enrolments figures are higher than the notional capacity, have measures in place such as the flexible timetables and additional facilities so that students are able to learn in a comfortable environment,” he said.
Mr Peach said no new state schools would be established in Queensland as a result of the Year 7 move to high school.
Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey said the problem in Bundaberg schools would only grow.
“It’s a desirable place for young families to live. We can’t just sit on our hands for an overall education plan,” he said.
Member for Burnett Rob Messenger said the state government had a poor track record when it came to running the education system.
“In terms of capacity of schools and overcrowding in our schools, this is why I get so frustrated when the government refuses to admit that our region needs new high schools, particularly for Bargara and Agnes Water,” he said.
“The government ignores our region’s high growth rate.”