A record number of students back to school

  • More than 468,000 students will go back to public and non-government schools today
  • Four new public primary schools will open for students from Kindergarten to Year 6
  • Three new state-of-the-art public secondary schools for Year 7s
  • More than 25,000 teachers in public school classrooms across WA
  • New mobile phone policy officially comes into effect today
  • A record number of 468,000 students are expected to start the new school year from Kindergarten to Year 12 at public, Catholic and independent schools across the State today.

    This includes 317,000 students at public schools, a nearly two per cent increase on last year.

    Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery and Kingsley MLA Jessica Stojkovski today visited West Greenwood Primary School to welcome students on the first day of school.

    More than 450 students are expected to fill the classrooms at West Greenwood Primary School today, including 40 Kindergarten students who are starting school for the first time.

    They join more than 35,000 Kindergarten children – including 25,300 public school Kindergarten students – who will start their schooling around the State today.

    West Greenwood Primary School is set among tall gum trees and native gardens, and has vibrant and colourful murals decorating external classroom walls.

    The school community has a strong focus on developing students’ emotional, social and physical wellbeing. Students participate in loose parts play, whole school wellbeing initiatives and specialist education programs in music, Japanese, science and physical education.

    Four public primary schools will open today for Kindergarten to Year 6 students and three public high schools will also open their doors.

    Grandis Primary School opened for Kindergarten and Pre-primary students only in temporary facilities in 2019.

    From this year, students from Years 7 to 12, must have their phones turned off during school hours and kept off and out of sight until the end of the school day. Additionally, under the new policy, smart watches must be set to airplane mode.

    Exemptions to the policy will be made for students with special circumstances.

    As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

    “It’s exciting to welcome a record number of students to schools around Western Australia.

    “We especially welcome more than 317,000 public school students who are expected to fill the classrooms at 818 schools including four new primary schools for K to 6 and three new secondary schools.

    “I want to wish all students, staff and parents across Western Australia all the very best for a fantastic and successful year ahead.”

    As stated by Kingsley MLA Jessica Stojkovski:

    “It’s fantastic to welcome the new school year at West Greenwood Primary School.

    “I’m very proud of all the students and teachers in my electorate, and I never get tired of showing them off.”

    “We’re not just opening new schools either. The McGowan Government has provided boosted funding for all public school maintenance. The benefit of that boost will be evident this year.

    “As a mum, I know first-hand the difference a good school makes to our kids’ lives. It’s great to be part of a Government working hard to ensure WA schools can give students new opportunities to learn and grow.”

    FABULOUS FACTS about public schools in 2020

    • There are 818 public schools across WA in 2020.
    • 317,000 students start back at public schools including 25,000 Kindergarten students at public schools for the first time.
    • There are more than 25,000 classroom teachers in public schools – about 250 more than last year.
    • The new primary schools are Sheoak Grove Primary School in Baldivis, Beenyup Primary School in Byford and Caversham Valley Primary School in Caversham. In addition, Grandis Primary School in Banksia Grove, which opened in 2019 with Kindergarten to Pre-primary in temporary facilities.
    • The secondary schools are Bob Hawke College, Alkimos College and Hammond Park Secondary College. They will all open for Year 7 students this year and grow to accommodate students in Year 7 to 12.
    • All new schools have been tested and cleared for lead in the water. Other public schools have had their water taps flushed.
    • The McGowan Government’s new mobile phone policy ‘off and away all day’ comes into effect for all WA public schools.
    • The Government’s $200 million Major Maintenance Blitz, that is improving school facilities and creating local jobs for WA workers, continues to be rolled out.
    • 150 primary school classrooms will have science laboratories thanks to a Government commitment for science laboratories at 200 primary schools. Work on the remaining 50 schools starts this year.
    • The rollout for 500 public schools to have their bandwidth tripled for each staff member and every student, continues in partnership with Telstra.        
    • And in curriculum news…From this year, Year 11 students will have the option of choosing an ATAR pathway or General Courses pathway with or without VET to achieve their Western Australian Certificate of Education – WACE – allowing them to better prepare for their post-school pathway.
    • The Western Australian languages curriculum will continue to be rolled out with the addition of Year 5 this year.

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