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SA prepares for population boom with strict school zoning

Demographic analysis indicates the state’s high school population will grow from 60,000 this year to a peak of just under 80,000 in 2022.

Public high schools in metropolitan Adelaide will be supported to set enrolment ceilings under a move which will ensure in-zone families can access their local school.

The Department for Education is taking the step to help government schools manage the projected 20,000 additional secondary enrolments by 2022.

For the first time, metropolitan high schools have been provided with central support to set an enrolment ceiling based on demographic analysis of future growth in their area.

The ceilings, which were formerly set independently by schools, ensure places are available to take all in-zone enrolments and preserves highly valued special entry programs.

36 schools will be growing beyond their current capacity by 2022, with $185 million of additional funding for capital works projects for building improvements and to increase places.

Two new R-12 schools in the northern and southern suburbs of Adelaide are also being built to open in 2022 to accommodate projected growth in those areas, with each designed for 1,675 students. New zones will be created around the new schools.

Along with moving year 7, the growth in projected secondary enrolments has been driven by an increase in birth rates in South Australia.

The education department is also consulting with principals and preschool directors on enrolment policy and related operational procedures to align enrolment practices into a clear, uniform approach across the system.

Anne Millard, Executive Director Partnerships, Schools and Preschools, said: “Detailed analysis shows a sizable bubble of students moving through the primary system and into high school in 2022.

“Supporting schools to set ceilings based on close demographic analysis ensures that in-zone families are able to enrol in their local high school and preserves highly valued special entry programs.

“We are investing more than $1bn in capital upgrades to our schools, which means that right across the state we are creating world class education facilities for SA. The significant investment to improve school infrastructure and expand capacity at 36 high-growth schools means the system will keep pace with the growing enrolments.”

Further amendments to school zones are not being considered and schools with existing Capacity Management Plans (CMP) will continue to manage enrolments under the arrangements set out by their CMP.

Rosie Clarke

Rosie is the managing editor here at Multimedia Pty Ltd, working across School News New Zealand and School News Australia. She has spent 10+ years in B2B journalism, and has spent some time over the last couple of years teaching as a sessional academic. Feel free to contact her at any time with editorial or magazine content enquiries.

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