Queensland’s most crowded and sought after state schools are accepting hundreds of students from outside their areas of influence.
New figures may reveal almost 600 schools for enrolled students who did not live nearby, despite enrolling in enrollment management plans.
The plans are put in place when enrollment in a school reaches 80 percent of the capacity to ensure that children living in the area can still access it.
Almost half of all students attending the prestigious Brisbane State High School in South Brisbane – or 1,603 children – do not live within their area of coverage.
The school offers selective entry for students who are talented in the academic, music or sport fields.
Longstanding concerns about Brisbane State High bursting at the seam have led to the opening of the new Brisbane South State Secondary College in Dutton Park.
At MacGregor State High School, 82 percent of students lived outside the area of influence, while that figure was 73 percent at Mount Gravatt State High School.
Rochedale State High School and Wavell State High School took 74 percent.
More than 1100 students at Indooroopilly State High School, or 51 percent, lived outside the coverage area, while Indooroopilly State School was at 21 percent.
Education Queensland is planning a new elementary school to open in 2023 to ease enrollment pressures in state schools in Brisbane’s west-west, with Indooroopilly State High touted as a potential location.
The new Fortitude Valley State Secondary College had 55 percent of its students, or 76 children, who did not live in the area of influence.
LNP educational spokesman Dr. Christian Rowan said that many state primary and secondary schools are in desperate need of additional classrooms, libraries and new or renovated school corridors.
“The state Labor government needs to be open and transparent as to why Brisbane State High School and MacGregor State High School have so many enrollments outside the catchment area,” he said.
“And how this is affecting resources and what a disadvantage this is causing students living within the basin.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said that when there is spare capacity, principals can offer places for students outside of the coverage area.
“Parents have the option of enrolling their children in the local school or getting into a school with a specialized educational program, such as Brisbane High School.”
Education Minister Grace Grace said that families usually live in the catchment area, but can move home while the student is enrolled in school.
Queensland Teachers Union President Cresta Richardson said it is important for principals to have a say in enrollment management plans.
Greens MP Amy MacMahon called for all state schools to be fully funded.
“So that parents can feel confident that their children will receive a high quality education at their local state school – no matter what the zip code is,” she said.