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