Above: Anna Negro, principal of Sacred Heart Geelong
BIG secondary schools are growing larger, while some of the region's smaller schools are struggling to retain strong numbers, new data suggests.
A Geelong Advertiser analysis of school population data released on the MySchool website this week has shown a discrepancy in numbers across the region's public high schools, while many of the school's Catholic schools have experienced an unprecedented rise in enrolments.While overall public school enrolments have grown 1.5 per cent over the past year, this growth is in the primary and special school sector.
State Government data shows the number of Geelong students enrolled in public high schools has been decreasing each year since 2013.High performing public schools such as Belmont High School and Grovedale College, which had NAPLAN results similar to schools charging thousands of dollars in fees each year, have booming populations.
Belmont, with a population of 1270, is the sixth biggest school in the region and the third biggest secondary student only school.Western Heights College is one of the region's smaller secondary schools with its population dropping from 966 students in 2012 to only 497 last year. This is despite a $42 million redevelopment in recent years, MySchool data also suggests demand for top performing Catholic schools is continuing to grow.
In 2016, 27 per cent of all Geelong secondary students were enrolled in Catholic school.St Joseph's College was the region's third largest school and biggest secondary school in 2017, with a population of 1730 students, up from 1379 in 2010. Catholic school Sacred Heart, which like St Joseph's charges mid-range fees, is the region's fourth biggest school with a population of 1426.
Sacred Heart principal Anna Negro said the school's rich history and diverse curriculum provided all students with the opportunity and resources to thrive."We recognise that students thrive when they have excellent resources and facilities, and can work with inspirational teachers who support them to set and reach goals - both individually and collectively," Ms Negro said.
Kardinia International College, which recorded top five scores in all NAPLAN tested areas, has increased its student population by almost 200 since 2010.Principal David Fitzgerald said the school's strong results and innovative curriculum continued to draw families.
Drysdale Catholic school St Ignatius' has seen its population nearly double from 652 in 2008 to 1241 last year.
Northern Bay College, which is still the region's biggest school, and Newcomb College have recorded slight drops in enrolments in recent years, while Geelong High School's population has remained stable since 2010.
From: Geelong Advertiser, Geelong VIC by Olivia Shying
09 Mar 2018
|Tags: Catholic Secondary Principals Australia|