Below is an update from the overcrowding group.
If you know of others that may be interested, then feel free to forward this (anybody can register for the mailing list on http://www.thedempc.com.au/
At the end of this message you will find a few things you can do today to make a difference.
Project Reference Group
Late in 2017 our overcrowding working group met with the project reference group at the school (principal, director, director for asset branch, heritage officer and representation from education infrastructure NSW). The formation of this group and the site visit are the early official steps that the Department takes to assess our situation. Of course they have many schools to visit and we understand these will be done early in 2018. However, we saw it as a good sign that they brought the visit forward and during the site visit it was acknowledged that there were not enough permanent classrooms nor an adequately sized hall. Several broad stroke suggestions were made where a new building could be located.
Since the site visit we have had informal update that some architects visited the site (their scope / brief / progress are unknown) and that Neutral Bay PS and the Dem are high on the priority list for capital works. We hope their visit further clarifies that there is scope to build a new larger building. One of the problems for the reference group is that any capital allocation needs to be decided / announced by the minister.
As you can see from the attached 3 page powerpoint here (which we used in the project reference site visit), we not only ask for action but also transparency.
Is the flyer calling for changing enrollment processes?
For your convenience, please find the infographic flyer here. We want to clarify that the 1000 limit is not intended to change enrollment rules. We need to know that the growth along Pacific Highway, train and metro is taken seriously and that there are plans in place to manage this. We believe a new school in the southern part of our catchment is needed (to solve increasing pressure on Neutral Bay and Dem) and a subsequent redrawing of catchments to manage towards a reasonable maximum (we believe 1000 students).
But our 2018 cohort is smaller ….
Although the Dem student population shrunk a little bit (to around 860 students), that is still significantly larger than the 2016 population. We believe the longer term trends are still obvious and growth along Pacific Highway, train and metro lines will put unsustainable pressure on our school (if nothing changes). We believe the slightly smaller student population has actually opened a 1 year window in which the Department of Education can do significant work. If building work can be done whilst keeping the population on site then money can actually be spent on solving the problem (rather than purchasing/renting space nearby (where?)).
Please support the overcrowding working group by…
1. Writing a few of your thoughts on the following website https://padlet.com/
They could be:
* your concerns about population pressure at our school (e.g. what would another 200 students in 4-5 years look like)
* your observations of how growing school population impacts on child, carer, teacher
which could include academic outcomes but also physical/emotional wellbeing, etc
* your messages of support for P&C and overcrowding group