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.
"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."
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.
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
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
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