Petition launched over QEII school zone

Building progress on the new Avonside Girls Shirley Boys One Campus School at QE11.

Residents are rallying to get excluded suburbs back into the Shirley Boys’ and Avonside Girls’ High School zone.

In April, the Ministry of Education came up with a compromise for a 13-year transitional zone that allows students living in the current zones around Richmond, Shirley, Avonside, Dallington, St Albans and Edgeware to enrol at the new multi-million QE II Park campus.

The zone will be reviewed in May, a month after students start at the new school.

But residents from the excluded suburbs have launched a petition, which will be sent to the ministry calling for the transitional zone to be made permanent.

So far it has 100 signatures.

TRANSITION: The enrolment zone for the new Shirley Boys’ High and Avonside Girls’ High Schools.

Dallington Residents Association chairwoman Bebe Frayle said it always planned to lobby for the zone to be made permanent.

“But what kicked off our regrouping was the info that Shirley Boys’ has closed their out-of-zone roll as soon as it opened,” she said.

SBHS closed its enrolments for out-of-zone students last month, two months before it moves.

“For us, it’s all about gathering support and the plan would be to talk to communities and the school, mostly the people affected,” she said.

Being permanently excluded from the zone would have impact on house prices, divide communities and disrupt families.

“We’re placed in a very weird position and as residents, we

can’t say that this is our local school. We don’t have one,” she said.

“It’s a weird and unfair position for families to be in.”

But Ministry of Education deputy secretary sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said the changes made to the enrolment schemes were to reflect their new location.

“The enrolment schemes will help Avonside Girls’ High School, and Shirley Boys’ High School make effective and efficient use of their new schools and will give them the ability to manage future rolls and reduce the risk of overcrowding,” she said.

•To sign the petition, go to www.change.org/p/ministry-of-education-make-the-transitional-zone-part-of-aghs-sbhs-permanent-zone-for-the-sake-of-equity

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