BEREJIKLIAN MUST NOT REPEAT MISTAKE OF LETTING LAND FOR SCHOOLS SLIP AWAY

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Premier Gladys Berejiklian is being urged to purchase land next to an overcrowded public school in her electorate, and not repeat the mistakes of her predecessor.

Chatswood Public School is bursting at the seams; early last year the school was struggling at 108 per cent capacity.

School enrolments have almost doubled in 10 years. In 2006, 670 students attended Chatswood Public School; at the start of last year that number ballooned to 1,158. 

Students at the school currently have to walk across a busy road to attend classes in nearby Chatswood High School, because there is no room for them to learn at the primary school.

As Premier, and local member, Ms Berejiklian is being called upon by concerned parents and the State Opposition to purchase land adjacent to the school which is currently in the process of an application for a six storey development.

Since 2014, hundreds of new dwellings have popped up in the Chatswood Public School catchment area – putting a further squeeze on the school.

In July last year, the Government refused to purchase land next to the overcrowded Berala Public School, despite the homeowner wanting to sell to the Education Department. That school has been left with demountable classrooms halving the size of its outside play area. In another instance, the Government sold a former RTA site next door to the over-capacity Lidcombe Public school, despite parents pleading for that land to be handed over for more space.

Ms Berejiklian is being urged to not repeat these mistakes.

In August, documents obtained by the NSW Opposition under freedom of information revealed that 37 per cent (807) of the 2182 of NSW public schools were now either at full capacity or well above.

The NSW Government has fallen so far behind in delivering new classrooms in the booming regions of Sydney that at the current rate it will take at least 45 years to get to where we need to be in 15 years.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“This is a perfect example of an overcrowding problem that can be solved – and it’s in the Premier’s backyard!

“If the Government doesn’t make a move quickly this will be yet another block of land which will be lost to a private buyer.

“Across Sydney, schools are overcrowded and playgrounds are full of demountable classrooms - Gladys Berejiklian must step in.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Education Jihad Dib

“In 10 years this school has almost doubled in size. With the anticipated growth expected in the catchment area – these kids will have nowhere to go.

“It’s not safe to have young children crossing the road multiple times daily just to attend class.

“The NSW Government needs to stop pandering to developers and start working for the best interest of school students in NSW.”