High School for Coburg update - August 2011

HSC wrote to Minister Dixon in July 2011 stating the depth of community support for a general entry High School in Coburg. HSC recently wrote to Minister Dixon again outlining once again the need for a general entry High Scool in Coburg. You can read the full text of the letter here. Below are the key points.
Minister Dixon visits Coburg Senoir High on 02/08/11 see here for more images
On 15 August 2011 the Age published an article on reborn schools. This article highlights some key aspects of the HSC case:
  • Schools running well below their capacity are expensive to operate. 
“We’ve got a lot of buildings that we’re paying to maintain –it’s a massive investment for buildings that sit there idle for a large part of the time.”  Wayne Craig, Northern Region.
  • Exactly! This is why the ex-Moreland College site must be fully utilized – it is high time!
  • We note that in the article the Coburg Senior High School was omitted from the education department’s list of inner Northern Region Schools with enrolments under 500. The CSHS has an enrolment of 218 and according to the Spatial Vision report will track at about that level through to 2021.
  • Albert Park’s enrolment figures show there is plenty of pent up demand for quality state secondary schools in Melbourne’s inner suburbs. These figures call into question the current DEECD enrolment projection methodology which is based on assumptions of very low proportions choosing state schools and also the averaging of LTE’s back to 2006 even where there is consistently increasing numbers since then.
  • The Albert Park story also highlights the inequity of the Coburg scenario:
  • In 2006 Albert Park–Middle Park had only 418 persons aged 12-17, meanwhile Coburg had 1,503 (plus a further 349 in Coburg North) with about 10 times more expected growth in numbers than Albert Park-Middle Park. (id.forecast) Albert Park College closed in 2006 and re-opened this year in first class facilities. In Coburg where the numbers are, the high school closed back in 2004 and we still have no open state provision for children leaving the 22 primary schools in our area.
“Last month Northcote HS received about 400 applicants for places in Year 7, well beyond our capacity to accept which is about 250”
  • This is on the ground evidence that the need for an open entry High School in Coburg is there now – well before 2016.
  • HSC facebook: 469 likers and 11,200 post views in one week, last week. We continue to show growing and engaged community support.

HSC appreciate that few would have had the time to read the very large Spatial Vision Report in detail so please find attached what we consider to be the three crucial sections:
  1.  Key Growth areas map showing increase in secondary school aged persons 2006-2021. The greatest growth by far is of course in Coburg which has no school, followed by other areas which have full schools. The Minister for Planning was particularly struck by the starkness of this visual representation when HSC met with him last month.
  2. Network Capacity Analysis – showing the projected shortfalls at schools in the Spatial Vision study area. Please note – if it is accepted that students do not and will not be travelling over an hour to attend schools to the north of the Coburg area – the overall shortfall becomes MUCH greater as it is concentrated in the southern schools.
  3. Coburg Core Area – Spatial Vision did a study-within-the-study on the proposed Coburg High catchment (Coburg SLA plus West Preston) and it is clear that the area accounts for up to ten times the number of secondary aged persons as the surrounding catchments

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