The Department of Education (DET) has released a proposal to reduce the catchment area for Manly Village Public School for the 2015 new enrollments.
A growing population has seen the number of children at Manly Village Public School increase dramatically in recent years. In 2010 there were 542 students, and this year the number peaked at 696. This is from around 220 less than 10 years ago.
The current Year 6 has 72 students and the Kindergarten approximately 130. If another 130 Kindergarten students are enrolled next year, that will be some 50 new students, meaning two new classrooms would be needed. That would result in a demountable being placed in the already congested playground.
The Parents & Citizens (P&C) group expressed concern that this would seriously compromise the quality of education. Lunch and recess breaks are already staggered, as there are too many students for the small amount of outdoor space currently available. The growing population is seen as unsustainable.
By law, all children in the catchment must be accepted into the school, and they must have classrooms. Population density in Manly is increasing so a smaller catchment was seen as the best immediate solution to stop the numbers reaching the projected 887 students in 2018.
The P&C Executive met with Local Member and Premier, Mike Baird and Department of Education representatives recently. The response has been to release the proposed change to the boundaries - a plan that has been worked on for some time.
A consultation process is underway and feedback is being sought. The P&C Executive has declared their support for the proposal to change the catchment area, with many new enrollments in the local being moved into in the Manly Vale catchment area. You can view the proposed new catchment in the information document below.
Capital allocations in the recent NSW budget will allow for new buildings to be constructed at nearby Manly Vale Public School, with the view to accommodate the additional children from the surrounding areas.
You can lodge your view to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org at the Department of Education by July 25. Short responses are acceptable provided you say which option you support and why.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.