Coburg Junior High secures $3.5m in funding with the help of .id forecasts
At .id, we welcomed the news in the recent Victorian State Budget that the Coburg community would receive $3.5m in funding for a junior high school. This is the culmination of a long community campaign for the school, supported by .id data and forecasts.
The community group High School for Coburg (HSC), with full support from the Moreland City Council, has been actively pushing for a junior high school in the area since 2008. HSC spokeswoman Cate Hall said the funding announcement was a “relief” for parents.
“It’s a game-changer for most of the people around these parts. They can relax and know this is a local option for their primary school children to transition to.”
Coburg Junior is now accepting year 7 enrolments for 2015 and will grow to accept year 8 enrolments in 2016 and year 9 in 2017.
Cate Hall highlighted the “invaluable” role .id played in securing the funding.
“The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development had argued there weren’t the numbers to support a school. Using id we were able to show that indeed there was!”
HSC turned to .id’s small area forecasts to project school age populations forward over the coming 20 years. These suburb-by-suburb forecasts showed that there would be very strong growth in school-aged persons over the coming years.
In fact, the data showed that the suburb of Coburg would have the fastest growing high school-aged population in the City of Moreland, although it had no junior high to service this population.
With a reputation for reliable data already established in the public sector, .id’s forecasts formed part of a formal case for the new school back in 2012.
The .id forecasts placed HSC ahead of the curve, and both the forecasts and the HSC’s case have been vindicated. According to Cate Hall,
“The community have shown that we were correct – there were massive numbers at the open days, even before funding confirmed. (There were 430 people on one day alone!) There were also already 90 students pre-enrolled for the inaugural Year 7 intake – again, even before funding was actually confirmed.”
At .id, we congratulate HSC and the community of Coburg on the funding announcement, and wish all the students well.
We are also very pleased to see .id data become part of a broader movement to improve school and community planning across the state.
HSC has gone on to become the founding member of a larger advocacy alliance called Our Children Our Schools (OCOS).1 Representing 13 advocacy groups from across Victoria, we are pleased to see .id data being used to rigorously establish the need and demand for schools in other rapidly evolving communities like Coburg.
With almost one in five peak-hour car trips in Victoria being to drop the kids off at school, we also recognise the role local schools in particular have in reducing road-congestion and increasing active transport options for our children.
In our view, great communities don’t just happen. They require planning and vision, ideally built off a dependable evidence base.
At .id, we pride ourselves on the role our data plays in helping businesses and communities prepare for the future. This case in particular highlights the role strong and reliable forecasts can have in anticipating the needs of the future, and building a broad-based consensus for action.
.id is a team of population experts, who use a unique combination of online tools and consulting to help organisations decide where and when to locate their facilities and services, to meet the needs of changing populations. Access our free demographic resources here.
1. The member groups of Our Children Our Schools (with links to the relevant .id forecasts) are:
Beaumaris School Community Group (BSCG) – http://forecast.id.com.au/bayside
A new school for Bannockburn District – forecasts coming soon …
High School for Coburg (HSC) – http://forecast.id.com.au/moreland
Doreen and Mernda Secondary School Alliance – http://forecast.id.com.au/whittlesea
Friends of Elwood College – http://forecast.id.com.au/port-phillip
Friends of Kyneton Education (FoKE) – no forecasts available at present
Oakleigh Ward Local Secondary School (OWLSS) – http://forecast.id.com.au/monash
High School for Preston – http://forecast.id.com.au/darebin
Reopen Our Schools (Banyule) – http://forecast.id.com.au/banyule
Richmond High School Choices – http://forecast.id.com.au/yarra
Secondary Education for Seddon, Kingsville and Yarraville (SKY High) – http://forecast.id.com.au/maribyrnong
Restore Strathmore Heights School Zones – http://forecast.id.com.au/moonee-valley
TwoSchoolsNow (Port Phillip and Southbank) – http://forecast.id.com.au/port-phillip and http://forecast.id.com.au/melbourne