Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 26 September 2019) . . Page.. 4009 ..
Answers to questions
Schools—Southern Cross Early Childhood School(Question No 2574)
Mr Wall asked the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, upon notice, on 2 August 2019:
(1) What is the designated Priority Enrolment Area pathway for students attending P-2 at Southern Cross Early Childhood School for continuing their education from Year 3.
(2) In the event that primary schools in the designated PEA are at or close to capacity, what options are available to both parents and more broadly the Education Directorate, to manage primary school student numbers in the Belconnen area.
(3) What planning is underway to deliver additional spaces for primary schools in the Hawker/Scullin/Weetangera area.
(4) Have there been any discussions about expansion of the Southern Cross Early Childhood School from P-2 to P-6; if so, what was the outcome of those discussions.
(5) Has the Southern Cross early Childhood school ever offered classes beyond P-2; if so, (a) when and (b) why was it reduced to P-2.
Ms Berry: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
(1) When continuing through to Year 3, all children who attend Southern Cross Early Childhood School are guaranteed a place at the local primary school that corresponds to the Priority Enrolment Area (PEA) for their residential address.
(2) Parents are able to plan for their child’s education in the knowledge that every child from Kindergarten to Year 12 is guaranteed a place at their local public school. Parents are also able to make applications to enrol at a school outside of their PEA, consistent with advice available on the Education Directorate website www.act.gov.au. The ACT Government carefully plans school capacity to meet the needs of students and the region that they live in. As part of this capacity management, non-infrastructure solutions to increasing school utilisation are considered first (such as reducing the proportion of out-of-area applications accepted), along with temporary and/or permanent additions to school infrastructure.
(3) The government proposed additional investment and space for Hawker Primary School in the form of transportable learning spaces. I have listened and accepted that the school community is not supportive of expanded accommodation at this time. Hawker Primary School will continue to accept students in its priority enrolment area, including the shared zone. Scullin and Weetangera have sufficient capacity to meet enrolment demand.
a) Southern Cross Early Childhood School opened in 2009, offering P-2 enrolments with onsite early childhood education and care facilities. Prior to this a K-6 primary school had operated on the site (Scullin Primary School until 1988 and Southern Cross Primary School from 1989 onwards).