Population growth will lead to school shortages at Wyndham

With enrollment skyrocketing, Alamanda’s most pressing problem is a shortage of open space. The principal’s preferred solution, recently submitted to the state government for funding, is to construct a three-story building for secondary school students.

The vertical school model is typically used for inner-city schools, but Ms Jobson said there was simply no more room for single-tier classrooms.

“We really can’t keep putting laptops on the site. The little piece of land where the kids can play is busy.

Alamanda’s growing pains are an extreme example of a problem common to schools in Wyndham City, one of Melbourne’s most populous urban growth corridors.

The region has by far the largest number of pupils enrolled per government school of any municipality in Victoria, with an average of 983 pupils in its 37 public schools.

The average number of pupils per school in Greater Melbourne is 554.

Wyndham City’s analysis found that school enrollment exceeded forecasts because planners failed to forecast an increase in housing density.

In budgeting for new schools, state government planners assumed Wyndham would maintain a housing density level of 12 to 15 units per acre, but recent developments have added 18 to 20 homes per hectare, a report said. advice.

The report predicts that Wyndham will be six schools short of the municipality’s needs by 2031, with a need for three additional primary schools, two secondary schools and one special school.

Wyndham Mayor Peter Maynard said a number of new schools have opened at Wyndham in recent years, with more to come. He said the city was grateful, but his report made it clear that more investment and a longer-term plan were needed to overcome the projected shortage of schools.

“Our classrooms are already overcrowded and packed,” said Cr Maynard.

Point Cook, single mother of three, Eliza Berry, said there was a desperate need for more schools at Wyndham.

The 39-year-old works full-time and has her two oldest children enrolled in separate schools, not by choice, but because her local school, Saltwater P-9 College, had not built its secondary facilities when her daughter Amélie left. started the year. 7 last year. Instead, she signed her up with Alamanda.

Ms Berry said she believed Wyndham had been left behind, with an influx of new residents but not enough infrastructure or schools to support them.

Our classrooms are already overcrowded and packed

Peter Maynard, Mayor of Wyndham City

“We only have one local high school through 9th grade. Even though they’re starting to build new schools now, it seems too late,” she said.

Ms Berry’s youngest child, Edward, will begin preparation for Saltwater this year when the college accepts its first class of Year 7 students. She hoped that all her children could go to the same school.

“I would love it if my local school could open the school up to grade 9,” Ms Berry said.

“It would certainly have alleviated a lot of the logistical issues.”


A spokesman for the Andrews government said the government had opened eight schools in Wyndham since 2018 and planned to build five more.

“We’ve also invested $74.3 million to upgrade seven existing schools at Wyndham to ensure everyone in Melbourne’s outer west has access to great local schools, close to home,” said the spokesperson said, adding that the need for new schools is reviewed annually using detailed demographic modeling.

The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and ideas of the day. register here.