School lock out

School lock out

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Familes approached their local member for help once they learnt their young children would not be able to attend Harrisdale Primary School once a new school opens nearby next year. Photograph - Aaron Van Rongen.

A group of Harrisdale families said they were upset after they received a letter, which stated their young children would have to attend a new school from 2018 even if they had older siblings at Harrisdale Primary School.

The letter was sent by Harrisdale Primary School principal Karen Duncan in June and said intake areas for new enrolments had changed with Forrestdale South West Primary School opening in 2018.

The letter said student enrolments for children entering kindergarten or pre-primary sent to Harrisdale Primary School from families living in Forrestdale South West Primary School’s intake area would be passed on to the new school’s principal.

“You will be required to submit an application for enrolment for kindergarten or pre-primary aged siblings at the new school for next year,” it said.

In June Harrisdale Primary School sent out its newsletter, which also warned parents about the new intake area for Forrestdale South West Primary School.

In it the school warned it would not be able to accept enrolments for students who lived beyond the new boundaries.

Mother-of-one Coline Van Wik is one of up to 26 families believed to be affected by the change.

Mrs Van Wik said she was frustrated to hear her four-year-old daughter Mia would have to attend a different school.

“There’s no alternative,” she said.

“Irrespective of what we say and what we want to do, that’s what we have to do.

“I work in the education department and one thing we teach is not to bully and not to be subjected to bullying.”

Until building is complete classes will operate from temporary classrooms and Mrs Van Wik said among other concerns she was uncertain about having her child attend a school that was still being built.

The new school will be located on the corner of Aspiri Promenade and Sunray Avenue in Piara Waters and the new intake area will affect families with primary school-aged children living in the southwest corner of Harrisdale.

It will open to kindergarten and pre-primary aged students next year before it is opened to students up to year six in 2019 when fully built.

Member for Jandakot Yaz Mubarakai said he contacted the Minister for Education Sue Ellery after several parents approached him.

“Families are already under enough time and financial pressure trying to juggle their home and work responsibilities,” he said.

“Now there is an added pressure of having to separate siblings between two schools and buying new uniforms for the children that are being forced to move.”

Mr Mubarakai said he hoped Mrs Ellery could resolve the issue and that common sense would prevail.

Mrs Ellery said she understood parents’ frustrations.

“I’ve asked the Education Department to work on a solution to this and to get back to me with one that puts the needs of the parents at the centre,” she said.