A sustained local campaign for a new high school for Sydney began in 2010 and in 2015 had a win when the NSW government announced that it will refurbish the former Cleveland Street Intensive English High School site at the corner of Cleveland and Chalmers Streets, Surry Hills.
The new Inner Sydney High School will have a capacity for up to 1200 students and is enrolling students in stages, with year 7 starting in 2020.
When the catchment area for the new school was first announced in late 2018, parents living just across the road in Redfern were outraged to discover that their homes did not fall within the catchment area for the school, which stretched across the city to Double Bay and Woollahra but not into the neighbouring suburb.
On 22nd Feb this year the community had a win with a revision to the catchment area made to include most of Redfern.
We wanted to take up some outstanding issues during the current Budget Estimates process in the NSW Parliament.
Our office submitted a series of questions (see pages 60-61) to the Minister for Education and her department which were asked by upper house Greens MLC, Mr David Shoebridge and put on notice for response.
We were interested to know how the decision was made to draw the catchment for the school; what plans there were for additional high schools in the Sydney city region; why the Department in its review had made a decision made to cut a couple of blocks of the Bourke Street Public School catchment out of the new Inner Sydney High School catchment; what out of area enrolment requests had been received and what areas had the current Yr 7 enrolments come from and whether they were spread evenly across the catchment.
The responses to these questions (see pages 16-18, Nos 57-64) have now been posted.
Construction on the school was completed in 2020 and our office was pleased to tour the brand new facilities with teacher and students.