Many of our new housing estates are being built before primary and secondary schools are in place. Existing schools are struggling to cope and are becoming overcrowded. It also means many children travel long distances to attend class – and this affects quality of life.
We support the Victorian Government’s Education State reforms, which are designed to improve quality of learning and break the link between social background and how a child does at school. This relies on families having access to conveniently-located schools that aren’t overcrowded.
Under Victorian Government policy, Wyndham should have one government primary school per 3,000 dwellings, and one government secondary school per 9,000 dwellings. We will fall short of these benchmarks under current government plans.
Our research shows we will experience school shortages in Wyndham's growth areas, where high numbers of families with school-aged children are moving to.
We’re asking for the Victorian Government to work with us in making sure our families have access to schools that are planned and built to meet our community’s needs.
Visit schools4wyndham for more information on this campaign.
The Victorian Government is responsible for planning and providing government schools. This includes:
- choosing the location of schools
- deciding when those schools will be built
- coordinating the design and construction of schools.
What do we need?
Wyndham has a shortage of schools, and we also need construction projects to stimulate our local economy.
We are asking the Victorian Government to start building three new schools in Wyndham in 2021.
Land has been allocated for these schools and fast-tracking the construction will create jobs in the west.
These three schools are urgently needed to meet demand in fast growing new suburbs:
Sites for new schools
In some areas where a school is required the land has not yet been allocated. We are asking the Victorian Government to conduct a study to find land suitable for two new schools. Schools are needed to meet demand in these suburbs but there are no planned locations available to build on
But fast-tracking schools shouldn't mean taking shortcuts when it comes planning and design. Hundreds of thousands of children will be educated at Wyndham's schools over the coming decades. They need schools that are well planned and properly designed so that they integrate with our fast-growing community.
We want to work together with the Victorian Government to make this happen as soon as possible.
Schools that are designed to integrate with our community
Schools and the local community can both benefit when they make shared use of shared sporting facilities and community centres provided by local governments like Wyndham City.
There are also benefits to co-locating schools with kindergartens, health services and other community infrastructure.
Doing this integrates schools with the broader community. And by pooling resources, we can create better facilities as well as save money that can be reinvested into other services.
The Victorian Government recognises this through its vision for schools to become integrated hubs for community learning, recreation and arts, and early childhood education and care. To make this happen, local governments like Wyndham City need to be involved in planning and designing schools. Current planning and construction processes are not allowing this to happen.
We’re calling on the Victorian Government to work with us in co-designing shared facilities that will result in the best possible outcome for our community.
Together we can create schools and community infrastructure that better meet the needs of our families – and are more pleasant environments that are accessible to everyone.
More local government involvement in school planning and delivery
The Victorian Auditor General has called for the Victorian Government and local governments to work much more closely in planning and designing of education infrastructure. Doing this will help make sure our community has well-designed schools that are integrated with our community – and are ready to go when our families need them. We support this and are ready to make this happen.
Here’s what’s needed.
At the moment, a single committee is responsible for planning multiple schools across the state. This limits the ability to create schools that meet unique and diverse local needs.
We think creating local planning committees will be a better way to create schools that are integrated with the community, through shared facilities and spaces.
More funding for school libraries
Wyndham City provides public library facilities for the local community, but our libraries are experiencing higher-than-expected demand from local schools who are requesting access on behalf of their students. This is because many school libraries can’t fully cater for the needs of local children.
We’re proud of creating welcoming spaces where Wyndham residents can access information, study, or simply relax with a book for free. But it isn’t fair that Wyndham ratepayers are catering for needs that should be met by school libraries.
We’re calling on the Victorian Government to fund school libraries that properly cater for the needs of local children.