State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has called on the NSW Education Minister to build new schools in Newcastle’s western suburbs and end the overcrowding, after the latest data revealed that many local schools are exceeding capacity.
New Department of Education data shows local schools are bursting at the seams, including Jesmond Public School which is at 125% capacity, New Lambton Public School which is at 118.5% capacity, Callaghan College Wallsend which is at 113% capacity and Lambton Public School which is at 109% capacity.
Ms Hornery is calling on the Minister to build the infrastructure where it is needed, rather than continue to move the enrolment boundaries for individual schools.
“We see the Department just stack more classrooms into school grounds, without any thought to the surrounding infrastructure and the impact that has on local communities.
“The Government just continues to expand the school and puts no thought in to how this impacts on the community.
“Shifting the intake boundaries also impacts on local communities. We have seen boundary changes to Callaghan College Wallsend, Lambton and New Lambton Public Schools which has done nothing to ease the overcrowding, but has put stress and strain on the local road network as parents are forced to now drive their children to school.
“The Minister needs to look at where new schools are needed. We have rapidly expanding areas around the western suburbs and infill development around Lambton and New Lambton with no education infrastructure to go with it.
“Investment in new schools in these areas is needed instead of this shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic mentality that they currently have with boundary changes and stacking in of new classrooms.” Ms Hornery said.