Independent schools in Sydney’s south-west are seeing enrolments double while public school enrolments remained practically flat over the past five years.
Islamic schools have seen the biggest growth, rising from 4172 students in 2000 to more than 12,000 last year. While Anglican school enrolments almost doubled over the same period, nearing 15,000 students, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Ross Whelan, the principal of Thomas Hassall Anglican College near Liverpool has attributed the rise to the hard working families in the area.
“We find a lot of the families are third and fourth generation migrants, so it’s this 1960s and 70s wave that came through and constantly saw education as a way of improving their lives.”
The director of Association of Independent Schools NSW Geoff Newcombe says the growing alternatives of schools also provides parents “with a choice they didn’t have a number of years ago.”
Meanwhile Andrew McDonald, the state Labor MP for Macquarie Fields, blames the “decrepit” state of some public schools for the change, saying “major maintenance issues” over the years has “made the public schools less attractive than some of these often new faith-based schools.”
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