The overcrowding in ACT public schools has reached a critical level in Canberra with class sizes getting ever larger and classrooms taking over dedicated spaces like libraries and music rooms for their homerooms, Shadow Minister for Education Steve Doszpot said today.

“When I visited Garran Primary School last week the difficulties parents and staff face in dealing with over capacity issues in our schools were highlighted,” Mr Doszpot said.

“The increased student populations in schools are having dangerous flow on effects for some schools with pick-up and drop-off becoming even bigger nightmares for schools on busy roads.

“When I raised the impending overcrowding crisis in our schools in the Assembly a few weeks ago, the Minister for Education in response highlighted Garran Primary School as a school facing pressure, however, his so called solution is too little too late.

“He suggested that changes to priority enrolment areas would ensure the school was able to accommodate its future enrolments.

“The issue is however that the area is increasingly being transformed from single dwellings, to increased numbers of apartments, many close to or adjacent to the school. This will only serve to intensify the enrolment pressures this school is facing.

“The Minister is full of platitudes and promises, but his words are no remedy for the lack of investment in school infrastructure.

“At the last election, ACT Labor promised $70 million, in part to address the issues that Garran and other schools are now facing. Unfortunately, nothing has been done.

“I encourage the government to look at the problem we’re facing now with regards to school capacity and realise that if nothing is done, the problems will only get worse,” Mr Doszpot concluded.