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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 4 Hansard (6 April) . .

Page.. 1198..

School enrolment

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (3.43): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) 2016 projections for ACT public schools show that schools in many areas of Canberra are under enrolment pressure;

(b) this is despite earlier assurances that media reports of over capacity were incorrect;

(c) if the current enrolment trends continue, all schools in both the inner north and inner south areas will be over-subscribed and students will be forced to relocate to other areas;

(d) this evidence refutes claims by the former Education Minister who told the Assembly in September 2014 that "school capacity in each of the four networks will remain comfortably above projected enrolment growth"; and

(e) the former Education Minister Andrew Barr closed 23 schools in 2006; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

(a) make public the Directorate's enrolment projections for each school for 2017, 2018 and 2019;

(b) identify those schools and those areas that face enrolment pressure; and

(c) outline to the Assembly before the end of May 2016 how these issues will be managed so that parents across Canberra can plan with certainty for their children's future schooling needs.

In the first three months of 2016 we have had the publication of a number of significant reports related to education delivery in the ACT. In January the ABC ran an article on school capacity headlined "Garran Primary School 'bursting at seams'". The article referenced public school enrolment projections extracted from the ACT Education Directorate's own modelling and highlighted a number of schools that would, most likely, be facing overcrowding difficulties this year.

The second useful piece of relevant data was the publication of the February 2016 schools census which outlines actual enrolments for each year in each school throughout the ACT. We have also had the publication of NAPLAN results in March which, for the first time, the Canberra Times has analysed to compare improvements from previous testing two years ago for years 3, 4 and 7 for each ACT school.

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