The Member for Summer Hill Jo Haylen is demanding Adrian Piccoli explain why inner west parents are being forced to split their children between different schools due to overcrowding.
In Question Time, Ms Haylen asked the Minister, “What is the government’s response to community concerns about overcrowding in inner west schools resulting in siblings being forced to attend different schools?”
The Minister for Education failed to answer, instead filibustering with comments about schools in other areas across the state.
“The Minister is dividing families and has no answer,” Ms Haylen said.
“It’s clear there’s significant pressure across the inner west and the Government has failed to invest in the school infrastructure needed to alleviate that pressure. The Minister refused to address the big policy challenges – he didn’t refer to boundary changes, to overcrowding or out-of-area enrolments,” Ms Haylen said.
The question came after the Inner West Courier detailed stories of parents having to find alternative schools for their younger children because they are now classed as out-of-catchment enrolments due to boundary changes.
Affected schools include Annandale North Public School - which reportedly has room for only 20 kindergarten students next year - as well as Summer Hill PS in Haylen’s own electorate.
“This isn’t the fault of local schools, who are dealing with unprecedented demand,” Ms Haylen said.
“When you have a school like Summer Hill PS get to the point where they have to jettison an Opportunity Class class and potentially deny siblings the opportunity to go to school together, it’s clear the Government has dropped the ball,” Haylen said.
“Parents are increasingly forced to deal with Sydney’s chronic congestion as they manage a double-drop off to schools that are often not even in the same suburb,” Ms Haylen said.
“A non-answer from the Minister isn’t going to fix it.”