Enrolment explosion as Qld’s fastest-growing schools named
Booming student numbers are putting a squeeze on schools in Brisbane's most popular suburbs, with the latest enrolment data showing rocketing numbers across the city.
Schools are turning to staggered lunch breaks, strict catchment controls and being forced to use extra spaces like libraries for classrooms in a bid to ease pressure on in-demand spaces.
The Courier-Mail can reveal more than 25 Brisbane schools have seen their numbers jump by at least 40 per cent in just five years.
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Hamilton State School saw its enrolment figures climb a whopping 88 per cent since 2016 and 22 per cent in just the past 12 months, with a school population this year of 175 students.
Stafford Heights State School's numbers were up 63 per cent in the past five years, with about 50 extra students added in the past year.
And Yeronga State School has seen its school population explode to 897, up from less than 600 just five years ago.
Outside of Brisbane, other major schools to see significant enrolment increases in the past year included Deception Bay High School (up 30 per cent to 1308 students), Baringa State Primary School (up 22 per cent) and Maryborough State High School (up 15 per cent).
Brisbane mother Lorena Savu said she had no hesitation choosing Hamilton State School for her daughter Nicole, 4, who commenced at the school this year.
"We enrolled her one week before classes, it was easy because we are in the catchment," she said.
"I like that it's a small school and it's close to our home, she's really enjoying it."
Major redevelopments are continuing at schools across Brisbane to ease the enrolment pressure, including at West End State School, which has shot from 819 kids in 2016 to more than 1200 this year - an increase of more than 50 per cent.
By the time the time the redevelopment is complete in 2022, the school will be able to house more than 1700 students.
The school's senior and junior kids have lunch breaks separately, due to the lack of space on the current site.
Kelvin Grove State College has added an extra 1000 pupils in the past five years to now have a school population of more than 3600.
Its 40 per cent growth since 2016 now makes it the largest school in the state.
Along with schools such as Brisbane State High School, KGSC has had to introduce strict catchment requirements to prevent fraudulent enrolments, including not automatically enrolling siblings if families move elsewhere.
They also had to shuffle classes at the beginning of 2021 after more students than expected arrived for Term 1.
BSHS has kept its numbers relatively steady, with growth of nine per cent since 2016 to 3442 students.
But the school was still forced to hold some classes in the library earlier this year, due to unforeseen enrolments.
Meanwhile Brisbane's newest state high schools built to ease enrolment pressure - Fortitude Valley State Secondary College and Brisbane South State Secondary College - welcomed 299 and 204 students respectively this year.
Some schools also saw significant falls in the past year.
Enrolment numbers were down 20 per cent at Zillmere State School from 2020, while Kuraby State School (down 12 per cent) and Wynnum West State School (11 per cent) also welcomed less pupils.
Originally published as Thousand new pupils, 8271 per cent explosion: Qld's fastest growing schools