Cooks River Valley Times
Schools in Sydney's inner west are packed to the rafters, forcing staggered children's playground time, as teachers grasp with solutions to a growing overcrowding problem.
Documents obtained by the NSW Opposition under freedom of information show that at least six public schools in the Valley Times readership area are either at - or over - capacity, and a further six are at least 80 per cent capacity.
State Labor MP for Summer Hill, Jo Haylen is calling for schools in her electorate to be urgently upgraded to cope for the expected population explosion over the next 15 years.
"Inner west schools are bursting at the seams," Ms Haylen said.
"We have schools where kids take shifts in the playground because there isn't the space for them to run around."
Ms Haylen said schools and services in the inner west are at crunch point.
"The Government is pumping density all through the inner west but there's no sign of planning for the community infrastructure we need," she said.
"We need to act urgently to invest in schools, hospitals, child-care centres and open spaces."
A Department of Education spokesperson said numerous strategies are used to manage fluctuating enrolment demands in the short to medium term, including enforcing a policy to restrict out of area enrolments, reviewing school catchment boundaries and providing additional demountable facilities - classrooms and specialist spaces as required.
"In just over five years, almost $4.9 billion has been allocated to school infrastructure and maintenance, included funding for more than 1,400 new permanent classrooms, which will provide approximately 26,000 additional student places," the spokesperson said.
"Every student who wishes to attend a NSW government school will be given a place at their local school.