State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has called on the NSW Education Minister to build new schools in the western suburbs of the Wallsend electorate and end the overcrowding in local schools, after the latest data revealed some local schools are exceeding capacity by more than 55%.
New Department of Education data shows local schools are bursting at the seams, including Glendore Public School which is at 156.4% capacity, Jesmond Public School which is at 125% capacity, New Lambton Public School which is at 118.5% capacity and Callaghan College Wallsend which is at 113% capacity.
Ms Hornery is calling on the Minister to build the infrastructure where it is needed, rather than continue to move the enrolment boundaries for individual schools.
“What we continue to see is schools bursting at the seams with capacity exceeding their Government-enforced enrolment caps, in some cases by more than 50 percent,” said Ms Hornery.
“We see the Department just stack more classrooms into school grounds, without any thought to the surrounding infrastructure and the impact that has on local communities.
“Glendore Public School is the prime example. Smack bang in the middle of a rapidly growing area, the school has enough space for additional classrooms, but the lack of suitable public transport means more and more cars are on the road which has led to traffic gridlock.
“The Government just continues to expand the school and puts no thought in to how this impacts on the community.
“Shifting the intake boundaries also impacts on local communities. We have seen boundary changes to Callaghan College Wallsend, Lambton and New Lambton Public Schools which has done nothing to ease the overcrowding, but has put stress and strain on the local road network as parents are forced to now drive their children to school.
“The Minister needs to look at where new schools are needed. We have rapidly expanding areas around the western suburbs and infill development around Lambton and New Lambton with no education infrastructure to go with it.
“Investment in new schools in these areas is needed instead of this shuffling of deck chairs on the Titanic mentality that they currently have with boundary changes and stacking in of new classrooms, Ms Hornery said.