SCHOOL LOVE: Coorabell students and their parents rally outside their beloved school.
SCHOOL LOVE: Coorabell students and their parents rally outside their beloved school. Contributed

School to rally against restrictions slashing school numbers

PARENTS at Coorabell Public School are campaigning hard to keep their beloved school thriving in the face of a push by the Department of Education (DOE) to reduce student numbers enrolled.

They fear that new restrictions on enrolment numbers will eventually destroy the much-loved school. The department insists the school only has two permanent classrooms, so Coorabell should have its numbers reduced to 47 students over time.

This is despite the school having four well maintained demountable classrooms- some of which have been in situ for the last 40 years- in addition to the two permanent classrooms.

The school currently has 125 students enrolled but restrictions currently placed on enrolling students from out of area mean they will lose one of six teachers at the end of term one.

"Because of this sledgehammer approach by the department we can't even enrol siblings of some out-of-area students already attending the school," P&C spokesperson Sybil Andersons said.

"We have families being turned away who want to join our school, but as our ceiling is now 47 we cannot enrol students out of zone as the DOE will not count our demountables as part of the school's capacity."

"We are calling on the department to make the school's classrooms permanent and keep the ceiling of enrolments at 136 students."

The P&C plans to hold a rally at 3.30pm on February 22, outside the school.

A spokesperson for the DOE said: "To ensure equity for children in neighbouring zones through the continued viability of their local schools, a period of transition to compliance with the statewide enrolment policy was agreed in 2017 for Coorabell Public School, whose preferred enrolment ceiling is now 95.

"2019 is the last year of the transition, with no new out-of-zone students enrolling other than those with siblings already at the school. There will be no new out-of-zone enrolments next year. It is expected that in coming years the school's enrolments will move down towards the preferred ceiling, and the school will continue to be staffed and resourced according to statewide policies and principles."