The South-West community of Dalyellup Beach will have its own School-in-Shops next year.
Education Minister Colin Barnett said today the Education Department would lease 15 retail units from the developers of the rapidly expanding Dalyellup Beach Estate, south of Bunbury, to provide interim schooling for kindergarten to Year 7 students.
Mr Barnett said it would be the State’s second School-in-Shops, after the very successful model that opened in Secret Harbour near Mandurah in 1997.
“I’m very excited to be able to announce another of our schools in a shopping village,” he said.
“The first School-in-Shops in Secret Harbour is an outstanding success and I’m confident this one at Dalyellup Beach will be just as popular.
“They’re designed to be as similar to a normal school as possible so it’s fun but also a very productive environment for students.
“It means local students can go to school in their local area while the community, and school, continues to grow.”
Mr Barnett said the co-operation of the estate developers building the retail space would mean education facilities could be provided in the area well before a permanent school would be built.
The school was expected to be ready for second term next year.
“Current student numbers in the area don’t warrant a permanent school and we anticipate there will not be enough students until about 2005,” the Minister said.
“Having the estate developer come on board with this proposal so early means that local children will not have to travel to Bunbury for their education.
“Not only will the school service the families of Dalyellup Beach, it will also be able to cater for students from nearby College Grove, Gelorup and Stratham.”
Mr Barnett said construction of the buildings would start as soon as possible and the school would open in April next year with about 160 students.
“The 15 shops will be the same size as permanent school classrooms and allow for the normal school facilities,” he said.
“Nine shops will serve as classrooms and another six will house the library/resource centre and activity room and administration and staff offices.
“It will also have a covered assembly area for school functions and play space.
“The school will open with about 50 kindergarten and pre-primary students and about 110 Year 1-7 students.”
The initiative follows other successful interim school developments by the Education Department.
In addition to Schools-in-Shops, there have been a number Schools-in-Houses provided in several areas around the State, including the most recent one in Broome.
“Creating these temporary school facilities enables us to provide a local school for students as their estate grows and it makes transition to the permanent school easier,” Mr Barnett said.
“Parents, staff and students at Secret Harbour and at the Schools-in-Houses have been very strong advocates of them.”
Media contact: Diana Callander, 9222 9699