Queensland schools bursting at seams as student numbers boom
Queensland schools bursting at seams as student numbers boom

State’s most overcrowded schools revealed

MORE than 100 schools across the state are bursting through their enrolment capacities, with parents at one popular institution claiming it is so full students are battling to use the toilets during breaks.

More than 2800 children turned up at Mansfield State High School for the 2019 school year - about 90 more than expected.

Concerned parents have told The Courier-Mail kids at the in-demand school were struggling to go to the toilet or use changing rooms because of overcrowding and long lines.

The school has grown by almost 800 students in just four years, with 3000 students expected next year.

The Department of Education said the school had not received complaints regarding the use of toilets or change rooms, and the school's built capacity was 3013 students.

 

Mansfield State High School is at the epicentre of Queensland’s school crowding crisis. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAP
Mansfield State High School is at the epicentre of Queensland’s school crowding crisis. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAP

 

A new building with six additional classrooms was completed this year, while construction is under way on a new, $10.4 million three-storey learning centre which includes 12 additional classrooms.

However many parents of children who attend Mansfield State High School have expressed concerns students were being "squeezed in".

One mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said that her child was often stuck in lines of up to 25 kids trying to access the toilets, while some kids were resorting to getting changed in the open due to busy changing rooms.

"I don't believe that is acceptable," she said.

"The school has grown a lot bigger and though they are building new classrooms, it doesn't seem to be keeping up."

Another parent said the ongoing construction and crowding at the school meant some kids were unable to fully access their lockers.

Other Queensland schools are also facing rapidly growing student populations, with more than 550 introducing enrolment management plans because they had reached at least 80 per cent of their student capacity.

More than 120 had student levels which had surpassed their listed maximum student enrolment capacities this year.

* Enrolments: Day 8 data for 2019

* Maximum student enrolment capacities as published by the Department of Education

A Department of Education spokesman said Mansfield State High School was a highly regarded and in-demand school, and that the need for investment in the growing school was being recognised.

"Mansfield SHS has welcomed these additional investments in their school infrastructure and the benefits they will deliver to current and future generations of students," the spokesman said.

"During these works, the school works actively with students, teachers and parents to minimise disruption to teaching and learning."

Mansfield State High School also faced scrutiny earlier this year after parents complained over some students receiving lessons outdoors, due to space constraints.

At the time, Member for Mansfield Corrine McMillan said 94 students more than expected had enrolled at Mansfield High for 2019.

Nearby primary schools in the prized catchment Mansfield State School and Wishart State School have also grown in size, with both schools recording enrolment levels above their listed maximum student enrolment capacities.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Government would monitor enrolment growth at Mansfield State High School and work with the school community to ensure it had the facilities it needs in the years ahead.

"The Palaszczuk Government has invested close to $35 million since 2015 on new and enhanced learning spaces at Mansfield State High to ensure the school can cater for continued enrolment growth," she said.



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