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Public school enrolments buck the trends?

By johnboy - 2 April 2009 39

[First filed: April 01, 2009 @ 15:08]

Andrew Barr is thrilled to announce that for the first time in a decade there are more children enrolled in public schools than the year before:

    “This increase in enrolments shows that the ACT Government’s record investment in public education is paying dividends,” Mr Barr said. “This is a direct result of the actions this Government took back in 2006 to invest $350 million into upgrading every public school and building new state-of-the-art schools, where they are most needed in Belconnen, Gungahlin and Tuggeranong.”

Everything to do with the public’s love of ACT Government education policies?

Nothing to do with parents worried about taking on the cost of private education at this time?

UPDATED: A day later Steve Doszpot appears to be taking his talking points from our commenters in his media release:

    “Mr Barr should realise that children’s education is not for his political point scoring.

    “In broad term the census figures indicate only a very small increase in public school enrolments, a total increase of 0.001%.

    “Mr Barr cannot seriously claim this result as a success when figures affectively remaining stagnant.

What’s Your opinion?


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39 Responses to
Public school enrolments buck the trends?
peterh 9:55 pm 01 Apr 09

Nemo said :

Quote from Peterh “now, how many schools are to be left in kambah?

1. “

I live in a suburb of 6000 people, most of whom are young families. Our closest high school is 4 suburbs away. My son’s school (and that of all high school students in our street) is more than 11km away.

Dont be too disappointed with only having 1 school in your suburb…

nemo, we have one school that hasn’t even been built yet. kambah high is shut, and now they are closing the primary schools. kambah is the biggest suburb in the ACT, with 16,000 residents in 2001 – no idea how many now, but there are quite a few young families. We know of 5 families that have twins like us, and a couple with kids of school age like us. the twins will be the problem, as we don’t want to split them up. Barr didn’t even take the time to use current demographics, the info he obtained for this grand plan was taken in 2001. not very clever when you consider that 2005 was heralded as the year of the largest number of births in canberra…

bd84 9:40 pm 01 Apr 09

I hardly think a 50 kid rise on last year is too much to be chirping at, that would work out to be about 1 child per school in Canberra? Given that the measure is only taken once a year, it’s not likely to be accurate as children come, go and change throughout the year.

NickD 8:41 pm 01 Apr 09

Maybe it’s got something to do with ACT public schools (and especially the colleges) generally being rather good?

goose 6:56 pm 01 Apr 09

Dear Mr Barr

There are more children enrolled in public schools than the year before because: parents are worried about their jobs in today’s unsteady financial climate (you twit) hence they would rather send their kids to a public school and save some dollars. When it’s all over, Public schools will have low enrolments once again and you will be able to shut a few more down.

Regards

Goose (this should be your name)

Nemo 6:36 pm 01 Apr 09

Quote from Peterh “now, how many schools are to be left in kambah?

1. “

I live in a suburb of 6000 people, most of whom are young families. Our closest high school is 4 suburbs away. My son’s school (and that of all high school students in our street) is more than 11km away.

Dont be too disappointed with only having 1 school in your suburb…

dtc 5:52 pm 01 Apr 09

Its not just the baby bonus (or because of the baby bonus). Its the kids of the baby boomers having kids. We (I am one of them) are all now in the 25 – 40 age range. 2007 had the highest ever number of births – just pipping the previous record from 1971. With all those 1971 parents now 37 or 38 and, on average, having babies around 30 or 31 (whatever the figure is) – well, no surprise that there are now more kids of school age. And its only going to get worse, the next 10 years is going to be another ‘bulge’ generation. (its arguable the boom over the last 10 years has also increased both the ability and willingness of people to have children)

Also keep in mind that the private schools haven’t increased their capacity at the same rate. So even if parents wanted to send their kids to private schools, they just can’t get in (try getting your kid into Radford or Grammar or Eddies – pretty much impossible unless you have priority because a parent went to the school). Result – they go to public schools (and sit on a waiting list).

What Barr really needs to show, to justify his claim, is a DECREASE in private school enrolments.

regularbrowse 5:20 pm 01 Apr 09

2009 was a record year for enrolments at ACT pre-schools (the baby bonus kids of 2004-05 are growing)

Is it possible the sizeable pre-school figures (of 4 year olds) are creating this growth trend?

The question will be whether all those pre-school kids continue their education at a local public primary schools and eventually high schools. Then we will find out whether it is a trend.

Steady Eddie 5:14 pm 01 Apr 09

Perhaps it has something to do with parents not wanting to have their kids molested while at school. “Independent” = Catholic = Child Molesters.

Skidbladnir 4:46 pm 01 Apr 09

…growth in the number of enrolments for the first time in 10 years…
1) One instance is not a trend.
But he anyway claims that an increase of 50 persons (ie: a 0.14% increase on last year) after a decade long slide, is a statistically significant thing and not just a one-off bump.

This is a direct result of the actions this Government took back in 2006 to invest $350 million into upgrading every public school…
2) Correlation is not causation.
But if his claim is to be believed, this blip is apparently at a cost of seven million dollars per child.

by the way, the publication is here:
http://www.det.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/54278/ACT_School_Census_Publication_February_2009.pdf

peterh 4:40 pm 01 Apr 09

from the “Towards 2020” document…
“Tuggeranong Region
Kambah High School will close at the end of 2007 and a new P-10 school will be constructed on the site to open in January 2011. As part of this project, consultation will occur on the closure of Urambi Primary School from December 2010. Mt Neighbour Primary School will close at the end of 2006 and Mt Neighbour Preschool will be retained and amalgamate as an annexe of Urambi P-6 school from 2008. Village Creek Primary School will close at the end of 2007 and Village Creek Preschool will be retained as an annexe of Taylor P-6 School until the new P-10 school opens.”

now, how many schools are to be left in kambah?

1.

The super school, when it is built, will be expected to provide education to all the residents of Kambah.

I chose kambah as I live there. It is also the largest suburb, and I would bet that there are far more kids than the new P-10 school will be able to accommodate… when it is ready in 2011. i would love to see the demographics for the numbers of children of school age in the feeder for this school. The government has made a big mistake. birth rates follow peaks and troughs, the same as any other demographic in canberra. closing schools won’t bring in new residents, it will drive them out to bordering areas like queanbeyan and jerra.

definitely a big dividend, mr barr?

G-Fresh 4:30 pm 01 Apr 09

Sum achievement!

Furry Jesus 4:06 pm 01 Apr 09

Hmmm. 50 more than last year, coming on the back of $350 million. Where’s my calculator?

jakez 3:39 pm 01 Apr 09

I’m very excited about this development. I can see the benefits not just for me, not just for my future children, but for the entire community. Furthermore, the benefits far outweigh the opportunity cost.

I shall now commence a dance of appropriate vigor.

Clown Killer 3:38 pm 01 Apr 09

So by logical extension, when economic times get better and more people start enrolling their kids in private schools again that too will be a direct result of the actions this Government

You can’t have it both ways buddy.

peterh 3:34 pm 01 Apr 09

he is thrilled, is he? thanks very much mr barr, for closing down some schools that were close to my house. now we need to find a school that can fit us in. (several are overpopulated after the closures)

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