Education minister breaks silence on Ripley school concerns

THE education minister has intervened to quell families' fears about after a controversial school catchment that divides Ripley.

Two new schools, a primary and secondary, are being built at Providence Pde, Ripley.

A leaked release of the primary school catchment created a community outcry late last week.

The catchment for the primary school covers South Ripley's Providence Estate and south to Flagstone State School, but excludes most of the Ecco Ripley estate to the north of the Centenary Highway and the town centre.

Residents were told at a community meeting the catchment would not change.

It prompted a barrage of complaints to Education Minister Grace Grace and Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard by Ripley families about the boundaries.

Ms Grace moved to calm the anger and assured residents the catchment was only a proposal.

"The catchments for the new primary and secondary schools being built in Ripley have not been finalised," she told the QT.

"As part of the normal process for establishing a new school, the Department of Education has prepared draft catchment maps for principals to use to consult with the community.

"The department takes into account all feedback received before the catchments are finalised."

Ms Howard described the catchment boundaries as "bizarre".

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller called on the community to make its views about the catchment known.

Ms Grace said people should have their say on the proposal.

"I encourage all members of the community to provide feedback on the draft catchments," she said.

Ecco Ripley residents who have been excluded from the catchment say they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on homes thinking their children would be able to attend the new school.

Single mother Amelia Moss, one of many fighting the catchment, said she would organise a street party Ecco Ripley is included.

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