Fraser Coast Anglican College principal Joe Wright and Xavier Catholic College Simon Dash both report increases in student enrolments for the 2021 school year.
Fraser Coast Anglican College principal Joe Wright and Xavier Catholic College Simon Dash both report increases in student enrolments for the 2021 school year.

Coast schools record consistent increases in enrolments

The need for a new school in the Fraser Coast is back on the agenda again as several schools record consistent increases in student enrolments.

At least two Hervey Bay high schools have so far recorded an average increase of about 50 students, with a week-and-a-half before the start of Semester one.

Fraser Coast Anglican College principal Joe Wright said the school had been steadily growing since 2018, but this year's enrolments are already six per cent greater than last year.

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"We're starting the year off with 40 more students than this time last year (and) we expect this to be higher for the first day of school on January 27," he said.

"We even have new people moving to the area who have enrolled for Term 2 and Term 3, so we expect to continue growing throughout the year."

Fraser Coast Anglican College principal Joe Wright started with the school in 2018.
Fraser Coast Anglican College principal Joe Wright started with the school in 2018.

Xavier Catholic College has also experienced a jump in predicted student enrolments for 2021, with at least 60 extra on the books with more yet to finalise.

As at January 11, across both primary and high school, their total student enrolments are 1220 which includes 562 students in primary and 658 students in secondary school.

"We have a high demand for Prep and Year 7 placements and have had to put on an extra Year 5 class this year to cope with demand," principal Simon Dash said.

In Maryborough, St Mary's Catholic College also noticed a strong demand for Years 7, 9 and 10 with classes either full or close to capacity.

Overall enrolments have gone up five per cent from last year and the school anticipates higher growth throughout the year.

Former Fraser Coast Council deputy mayor Stuart Taylor, who ran as an Independent in the last State election, said it was because of these consistent increases in student numbers for high schools, also including Hervey Bay State High and Urangan State High, that the region needed another.

Former Fraser Coast councillor and former Hervey Bay state election candidate Stuart Taylor still thinks a new state high school would be appropriate.
Former Fraser Coast councillor and former Hervey Bay state election candidate Stuart Taylor still thinks a new state high school would be appropriate.

As part of his campaign, Mr Taylor pledged that if elected, he would push for a third state high school in Hervey Bay to be built near the sports precinct at Nikenbah.

"Hervey Bay's high schools are already at capacity, with Urangan State High School accommodation 1700 students and Hervey Bay High school with over 1300 students," he previously told the Chronicle.

The Labor candidate at the time Adrian Tantari, also made an education pledge, committing to upgrading Hervey Bay schools under a $1 billion Great Schools, Great Future education policy to modernise schools.

Despite this, primary schools that responded to the Chronicle's call for student enrolment numbers seemed relatively stable.

Sandy Strait State School principal Mark Hansen said they have about 700 students enrolled for 2021 with many year levels approaching capacity.

"These enrolment numbers are stable when compared to last year," he said.

Maryborough Central State School numbers will also be around the same, as will smaller schools like Mungar State School with 44 students.

 

State School student enrolment figures for 2020

High schools

Aldridge State High School: 892

Hervey Bay Special School (prep to 12): 98

Hervey Bay High School: 1276

Maryborough Special School (prep to 12): 79

Maryborough State High School: 993

Urangan State High School: 1730

Primary schools

Bauple State School: 22

Brooweena State School: 16

Glenwood State School: 80

Granville State School: 249

Gundiah State School: 29

Howard State School: 146

Kawungan State School: 927

Maryborough Central State School: 263

Maryborough West State School: 334

Mungar State School: 44

Parke State School: 62

Pialba State School: 393

Sandy Strait State School: 706

Sunbury State School: 180

Tiaro State School: 31

Tinana State School: 479

Torbanlea State School: 211

Torquay State School: 347

Urangan Point State School: 288

Yarrilee State School: 792

Albert State School: 132



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