Department of Education Census reveals enrolment figures for Gunnedah schools.

STUDENT numbers at one Gunnedah school have dropped by 28 per cent, while others are holding strong, new figures show. 

The latest Department of Education school census figures have painted a picture of how full some of the district’s public schools really are while some of our rural schools are struggling to attract students.

The data, obtained by Fairfax Media, has shown a mixed bag of enrolment figures in the Gunnedah area for the 2017 school year.

Gunnedah High School has seen a 28.8 per cent decrease in student numbers compared to 2013 with figures falling from 516 to 386 this year.

Gunnedah South Public School’s student population has grown by almost 10 per cent over the last four years with 628 students enrolled at the school compared to 580 students in 2013.

Gunnedah Public School’s student numbers are holding strong at 156 students but not compared to nearby Quirindi Public School at 286 students.

Other schools in the outlying region have also shown positive growth in enrolments over the last four years.

Boggabri Public School has increased its population by 14 students to 115 since 2013 while Quirindi High School is now at 451 students compared to 408 in 2013.

According to the census, Curlewis Public School is listed as having 41 students for the school year while student numbers at Carroll Public School have doubled from 10 in 2013 to 21 for the current school year.

Somerton Public School, which has 16 students, has grown from 12 students in 2013.

Tambar Springs has reported an enrolment of three students, with numbers consistently decreasing from nine students in 2013.

While school numbers have decreased significantly at some schools, a Department of Education spokesman said it continues to monitor enrollment trends over the course of the year.

“The Department of Education publishes enrollments recorded at the February census annually,” he said.

“This data assists the Department in the provision of resources.

“As the number of school-aged children grows in a particular area, the Department increases the resources available at schools accordingly. 

“The Department also consults with authorities, including local government to facilitate planning for future growth.”