Cash pledge for play

KIDS at Maylands Peninsula Primary School are having to use their playground in shifts because there’s not enough equipment.

Students number have doubled to 650 since the school opened in 2004 and Federal Labor Perth MP Patrick Gorman says parents told him there’s a weekly roster to use the playground equipment.

Mr Gorman lobbied shadow health and education minister Tanya Plibersek, and while in Perth this week she pledged $30,000 for slides, netting and monkey bars if Labor win the looming federal election.

“Patrick came to me quite some time ago to tell me the school had grown absolutely exponentially in student numbers,” Ms Plibersek said.

“He made a very good case that if we could find a modest amount of funding to help them build, extend and renovate the playground then it would make a really big difference.

• Labor’s candidate for the federal seat of Perth, Patrick Gorman at Maylands Peninsula Primary School, where kids have to queue to play because the school’s grown so much.

She said play benefited “children’s gross motor skills and their health, and teachers talk all the time about how kids benefit in the classroom from having good physical activity outside.

“We now know that so many children are missing out on playtime at home and the physical health effects of that are very serious indeed, so I was very happy to be able to find $30,000 to rebuild the playground for this lovely little school.”

School P&C president Dan West said the “we’re really, really happy [with the announcement] and we look forward to being able to translate that into progress on the ground”.

“Essentially the school has doubled in size since it was originally established, and there hasn’t been any expansion of playground equipment in that time…from a P&C perspective, we thought this just isn’t the standard that we thought our kids deserve.”

Schools in the Perth electorate have been promised $21 million across three years under the Shorten government’s “Fair Go For Schools” plan, with Maylands Peninsula Primary School to receive $780,000.

by DAVID BELL

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