Emails to the education department

So we can strengthen our case for a new local secondary school,  HSC asked the Education department for some extra statistics. The email below was sent on 14 October 2009.

Dear Krys and Peter,

Thank you again for your time and attention at the meeting with Christine Campbell MP, Moreland council, Coburg primary and HSC.
I am writing on behalf of HSC to formally request the release of the following documents to HSC .

1) Provision Plan for the Coburg community ( As referred to in Bronwyn Pike MP's letter 26 May 2009, scanned copy available if necessary)
2) Enrolment data for Coburg SLA primary schools, West Preston schools-namely Bell, Newlands and Preston West and Brunswick East primary.
3) Exit data from the same schools showing which high schools the year 6 students have gone to.
4) When completed, the postcode analysis of the schools above which we thank you for agreeing to undertake .

At an earlier meeting with HSC you stated that the onus is on HSC to make the case for a high school for Coburg and as such we require access to the above data.
Information HSC have recently obtained and are able to offer the department in order to assist you in determining local community educational needs includes:
  • Catholic primary enrolment data and exit figures for Catholic grade 6 entering state high schools in 2009 West Preston population data.
  • Once released -The HSC survey including comprehensive verbatim responses from parents representing 556 children .
We respectfully ask that you please reply within a week acknowledging receipt of this request and that the data above (excluding the post code analysis) be made available by the end of October .

 Kind Regards

Cate Hall

On the same day we received this reply

Hi Cate

Due to current urgent projects currently being undertaken at the regional and school levels we are not able to provide information to meet your requested timelines.

Will provide when time permits

Peter Enright

On 15 October 2009, we responded as follows...

Hi Peter

Thanks for your quick reply.

I do understand that you must be very busy with the with the re-branding ,stimulus spending etc etc.

In the meantime could we please have the data that is easily accessable and emailable?

By this I mean:

Exit data showing which high schools year 6 are going to in 2010 for Coburg SLA, West Preston and Brunswick East. Krys said this data would be ready for the HSC/dept. meeting 17 Aug but we didn't get around to discussing it as the main topics ended up being enrolments and population data.

Primary school enrolment data and projections for Coburg SLA plus West Preston and Brunswick East. These I presume are also easy to email as they appeared to be on a printout at our last two meetings

You may not have this data for the Bell and Preston West primaries yet but you do have the other West Preston school -Newlands.

So we will gladly take what you have at this stage.

Thanks again.

Cate Hall

The numbers stack up so where is the planning for a High School for Coburg?

by Darren Saffin
The suburbs of Coburg and Coburg North meet the new Precinct Structure Plan guidelines for outer suburban developments announced by The Hon Minister for Planning Justin Madden MP.*

The suburbs have a combined population of over 30,800 (2006 ABS Census) not to mention the other suburbs in any new state secondary school catchment zone. The obvious difference is Coburg is not an outer suburban development, but Coburg has the greatest population growth in children of all suburbs in Moreland (iD Forecast population projections) and has the Coburg Initiative, Pentridge Prison development and old Kodak factory site development. All of which mean the continued growth of secondary school age children and a very real lack of local community options for secondary school education – an education blackhole.

Public consultation has begun for the development of the former Maribyrnong Defence Site, which Justin Madden has already said will contain schools. Meanwhile in Alphington, the Government is set to negotiate with developers to buy land to build a local government secondary school. These are both commendable actions. Where is the same consideration for Coburg and surrounds which have a great need already and more growth forecast? It is hard not to be cynical with a state election coming up and seeing the safest Labour seat in Melbourne being neglected while vote buying happens around it.

*The new Precinct Structure Plan guidelines for outer suburban developments state that for populations up to 30,000 the plan should provide space for a government secondary school. See Growth Areas Authority - Part Two - Page 31 - Key Principles for Designing Integrated Community Facilities.

City of Moreland birthrates continue to rise

Moreland Birth rates went up again in this last financial year by 1.2% (from 2008). According to Robyn Mitchell at the City of Moreland,
This means birth rates have increased by 21.35% since 2001. Talking to other municipalities around Melbourne it seems this has been a bit of a trend - and if that is the case, it means the ability of surrounding municipalities to take Moreland's high school overflow is going to be severely compromised.
According to the  Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) "Suburbs in time " for Coburg, in 2006, 0-4 yr olds were almost back at the level they were in the 1980's when there were many more schools in the area. As shown below, births have continued to rise since 2006 with Coburg having highest birth rate in Moreland.

DPCD population projections 0-19yrs, 2006-2026

ID consulting Projections, 0-19yrs, 2006 - 2031

There has also been a big increase in tertiary educated residents, these in large part are the families who do not want to have to migrate out due to the lack of a state secondary school (as has been the pattern in these parts to date) because they value this community. There has also been a decrease in families who would classify themselves as religious, leading to increase in demand for state education.

Large numbers of young people in Coburg Statistical Local Area (SLA) are hard to refute now given the similarity between Moreland's ID projections and the DPCD projections.West Preston numbers can be added to the Coburg SLA numbers for the full picture.

West Preston by Census Collection Districts, drawn from Australian Bureau of Statistics CDATA.

Age Group




0-4 years




5-9 years




10-14 years




15-19 years




0-19 years




The Education Department count Newlands Primary which is actually in West Preston but not Bell Primary or Preston West. HSC argue strongly for these to be included in any analysis of the need for a high school in Coburg. Furthermore if Newlands Primary is included then the population of the suburb surrounding should also be taken in to account in demographic analysis, not just the portion attending from Moreland. Conversely, the Darebin schools mentioned above are attended by many Coburg children so should be included in school enrolment data being considered regarding the need for a high school in Coburg.

The need and demand for a quality state open entry high school for the local community which is the Coburg SLA plus West Preston is here now and will definitely be sustained into the future.

Looking for secondary school students to be interviewed by Class TV

Class TV is a television show made by the students at Thornbury High School. They are interested in making a story on our push for a school and are looking for secondary school students to talk to about:
  • How far they have to travel to school
  • If they go to different secondary schools than friends from primary school
  • If it would be better to have a local high school
If you have any questions or if you know some students who can be interviewed by Class TV please contact us - or Darren Saffin 0411 089 209.

September update

Dear High School for Coburg Supporters,
Thank you for your support and assistance through the last busy month. There are currently over 1,500 supporters and together we are continuing to drive the goal of an open entry state secondary school for Coburg and surrounding areas.

New numbers show need for school
The good news is that last week the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) released new population projections for Melbourne which support Moreland City Council's (MCC) own forecasts.
Both sets of numbers show most growth in the suburb of Coburg. Both are at odds with the Northern Region Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) projections which show growth mainly in the north of Moreland and much less over all.
Once more we see valid population projections supporting the need for a High School for Coburg. Where are the plans for one?
In the last week, the Government has been seen negotiating to build a school in a new housing development in Alphington. The same happened in Maribyrnong earlier this year.
Coburg demands the same planning and respect for our children. Email the Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike and tell her what you think -

Meeting with DEECD and Christine Campbell
HSC attended the first of a series of meetings with Northern Region DEECD, Christine Campbell MP, school Principals and Moreland City Council.
Christine reiterated her call for Year 7 intake in 2011 at the Coburg Senior High School.
Everyone present also explained the level of public demand for a high school and the high numbers of families leaving or considering leaving the area (or have left already) because there is no school.
To help reinforce that case to the Department of Education:
• If you are in this situation (or know someone who is) and are willing to have your details recorded, please email us at –
• Please fill in our online survey by the end of the September school holidays. We are getting very strong results but the more the better!

Coburg misses out on spending on secondary schools
In the Moreland Leader was mention of huge spending planned for Box Forest and Fawkner secondary schools including new subsidised uniforms. There is also a push for spending at Brunswick Secondary College to cater for more students.
This contrasts starkly with NO planning or spending on secondary education in Coburg.
Make your voice heard on this important issue. Email the Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike and tell her we deserve better -
Also let your local member know how you feel and make sure we get a local high school:
Christine Campbell, Member for Pascoe Vale -
Carlo Carli, Member for Brunswick -
Robin Scott, Member for Preston -

Email us:
Call us:
Denis Matson JP: 0419 747 748
Cate Hall: 9354 3053
Morena Milani: 9025 0839