Scorching hot demand for more inner-suburbs school places can be met by making better use of state government land throughout Vincent, says a local council candidate.
James Peart, who has a two-year-old, says places are currently so tight that small children are travelling up to 7km for kindy and 3km for primary school.
“Some parents are having to drive out to Floreat to drop one kid off at kindy and back to West Leederville to drop another off at school,” he says.
He says the School of Isolated and Distance Education in Oxford Street (virtually opposite the Luna) would be ideal for a new school. It is centrally located, largely idle and distance-education classes run from there could be done from any education department building.
“It’s a prime location that needs a school,” says Mr Peart, known for riding around town on a bike festooned with “All-in, one-in: Vincent to Perth”.
East Perth also has plenty of unused land that could be transformed for school use and, if mergers go ahead and Vincent HQ becomes unoccupied, that could also be modified.
“Since the Liberal government closed down Leederville primary school in the 1990s, local schools have struggled to keep up,” he says. At the time Leederville had small numbers, but Mr Peart says it was short-sighted to not realise demographics can quickly change.
Mr Peart says it’s important children learn to walk to school—to foster independence and physical activity—and that means avoiding wherever possible the need for them to cross major roads.
“I passionately believe that it’s a real handicap for kids if they’re driven to school from a young age,” he says. “They become so reliant on their parents.”
An ex-urban planner who doesn’t belong to any political party, Mr Peart decided to nominate after getting involved with the campaign to amalgamate Vincent with Perth rather than split between Perth and Stirling.
by DAVID BELL
Would Be Councillor
If Mr Peart had taken the time to do some research and get the facts he would have found out that his comments concerning School of Isolated and Distant Education are misleading and can only be considered attention getting.
The Schools of Isolated and Distant Education caters for a large number of Western Australian students over 2300 external students and over 600 full time students,
these include, students who are short or long term living overseas, students whose local high school does not offer the subjects they wish to study, or where the timetable does not allow them to join the class, students suffering from a long-term illness, adults undertaking courses on a part time basis to improve their education and employment options, students with psychological/emotional and social disorders and students with pregnancy or parenting responsibilities. These are just to name a few.
The site also has fully equipped self-contained units for visiting students from the bush or who are on school camps, a library and meeting rooms for face to face interaction with students and parents.
The centre dose have state of the art on-line learning facilities however, that is only one many avenues that are available to the dedicated teachers that teach our kids at this school.
I do wish Mr Peart good luck with his future council aspirations and suggest that being well informed with all the facts should be a prerequisite for the job.