New and redeveloped facilities for WA’s largest public secondary school
Rapidly increasing student population putting pressure on current facilities
School features regularly in top 20 table, based on academic achievement
Premier Colin Barnett and Education Minister Liz Constable today announced a major redevelopment of one of Western Australia’s biggest and best performing secondary schools.
Willetton Senior High School, which was named WA Secondary School of the Year in the WA Education Awards 2011, will receive $32.5million worth of new and redeveloped facilities in the State Budget 2012-13 for the first stage of works, expected to be completed in 2015, and the commencement of a second stage from 2016.
Mr Barnett said the State Government was looking at a long-term plan for the school which could see up to $80million spent to provide a 21st century learning environment to better meet the needs of some of WA’s most able students.
“This school, built in the 1970s, has been growing rapidly, with 1,736 students enrolled in semester one this year, making it the biggest public secondary school in WA,” he said.
“Significant areas of the school need refreshing, so that the increasing number of students learning here can benefit from contemporary learning facilities.”
Willetton Senior High School, which became an Independent Public School in 2011, is one of WA’s very best performing public schools and features regularly in the annual list of the top 20 schools based on results in WA Certificate of Education (WACE) courses.
“Stage one will provide for the construction of a new science block suited to the high standard of science education at the school, complete with the most up-to-date science and technology equipment, more laboratories and a dedicated planning area for staff,” the Premier said.
“It will also provide permanent classrooms to maintain and enhance student learning programs, and gifted and talented facilities, relieving the need for transportable classrooms.
“From 2015 we will begin to look at stage two facilities with a view to redeveloping the current library, mathematics and administration buildings.
“While we are looking to invest up to $80million in this school, full costs are indicative at this stage to enable the Department of Education to undertake further planning work with the school and community.”
Dr Constable praised principal Chris Booth and his staff for forging an outstanding reputation for Willetton Senior High School, based on consistently high student achievement in both academic and vocational education.
“Last year, 11 public school students won General Exhibitions from the Curriculum Council, which are awarded to the top 40 WACE students, and incredibly, five of them came from Willetton Senior High School,” Dr Constable said.
“The number of students achieving a Vocational Education Training qualification has also risen from 35 to 173 in just four years.
“Teachers and students have been doing a wonderful job in these ageing facilities. It is essential all students have the best possible environment in which to learn.
“This is particularly important because in 2015, year 7 will become the first year of secondary education, with students benefiting from the specialist expertise of teaching staff and the outstanding facilities and technology available in our secondary schools.
“However, we are very conscious that any building program in a working school must consider the interests of current staff and students, so the redevelopment program will be planned with the school community, to ensure that we keep any disruption to teaching and learning to an absolute minimum.
“Construction will begin next year, and an architect will be appointed shortly to begin detailed design and planning work in consultation with the school community.”
Premier’s office - 6552 5000
Education Minister’s office - 6552 5700