Supporting education provision in Australia

Education

Client

High School for Coburg

Challenge

Convincing the funding body of the need for a school

Highlights

Independent population forecasts provided the evidence-base to build a strong advocacy case.

Results

A new Year 7-12 high school opened in 2015!

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Coburg in Melbourne’s north, lost its high school in the Kennett era, when the population was aging and the number of school aged children was in decline. Since then, things have changed dramatically, and the suburb has regenerated with new families. The community group High School for Coburg (HSC), with full support from the Moreland City Council, had been actively pushing for a junior high school in this rapidly growing area since 2008.

Using .id’s small area forecasts to project school age populations forward over the coming 20 years, HSC was able to show very strong growth in school-aged persons. In fact, the data showed that the suburb of Coburg would have the fastest growing high school-aged population in the City of Moreland, although it had no junior high to service this population.

Challenge

In HSC’s report More Local Primary School – Fewer Secondary Options, it revealed that birthrates had been steadily going up in the last decade with very big increases in primary school enrolments within the suburb of Coburg. For example, there was a 50% increase in Prep enrolments in the four years leading up to 2012.

HSC argued that the one fundamental missing institution within Coburg was a high school which is essential for the economic viability of urban renewal in this designated activity area.

Of all morning peak hour car trips, 17% were parents taking children to school, contributing to road-congestion and heavy traffic. HSC recognised that a local high school would reduce this traffic and increase active transport options for children. More importantly, it would cater to the demand of the growing population.

However, they were having trouble convincing the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development of the need for a school.

The HSC approached .id to better understand the demand for a high school within the area to build a formal case for the new school.   

The .id solution

.id provided HSC with small area forecasts to project school age populations over the coming 20 years. These suburb-by-suburb forecasts showed that there would be very strong growth in school-aged persons in the coming years.

In fact, the data showed that the suburb of Coburg would have the fastest growing high school-aged population in the City of Moreland.

Outcomes

With .id forecasts and data, the HSC was able to present a formal case to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. The Coburg community secured $3.5m funding from the Victorian government for a junior high school. Coburg Junior opened for year 7 students in 2015 and will grow to accept year 8 enrolments in 2016 and year 9 in 2017.

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