School zone anger

By Tate Papworth

By Tate Papworth and Laura Michell


Up to 20 students from Springside College in Caroline Springs are fighting a “bureaucratic bungle” which has locked them out of their preferred high school.

In 2017 the Education Department announced Springside College would transition from a P-9 school to a P-6 school.

Parents say they were told that students affected by the change would be accepted into nearby Springside West Secondary College for three years.

However about 20 students this year have been rejected from Springside West because they fall outside of the school zone.

Eva Fattore, whose daughter Erika has been told she can’t attend Springside West next year, said they live just one street outside of the zone.

“They have gone back on their promise. It has been a big mess,” Ms Fattore said.

“We thought there was a three year agreement so we didn’t look at other schools. If we had known she wouldn’t be accepted we would have looked for a new school.”

Ms Fattore said Erika has been told to attend Copperfield College.

She said all of Erika’s friends would be going to Springside West.

The Department of Education last week acknowledged a small number of parents may have received incorrect advice relating to Springside West Secondary College accepting all enrolments.

According to the department Springside West wrote to Springside P–9 families earlier this year to clarify the school would be managing enrolments in line with the department’s placement policy, and would limit enrolments to the designated neighbourhood zone.

Geoff Cain, whose son’s application to Springside West was rejected because the family lives 200 metres outside of the enrolment zone, said his son was stressed about the prospect of attending another school.

“My son will be transitioned to a brand new school where he knows no one,” Mr Cain said.

“All the kids are suffering stress and anxiety.”

Mr Cain has appealed the decision to the education department.

“We have become aware that children who did not attend Springside College have been placed at Springside West on compassionate grounds. We are entitled to ask why the priority order of placement policy hasn’t been correctly applied,” he said.

The department said Springside West has been assigned as a designated neighbourhood zone to manage the growth in the area.