About the project
The Department of Education and Training has undertaken a review into secondary school provision across the south of Geelong.
Given current patterns of growth in the area, along with projected growth in the Armstrong Creek development, this was a timely opportunity to consider the adequacy of provision for current and future student demand.
The review examined enrolment demand for local government secondary schools and if they have sufficient space to cater for future enrolments across the south of Geelong, including the capacity to meet extra demand expected to come from nearby Armstrong Creek.
The review covered the suburbs of Wandana Heights, Highton, Belmont, Waurn Ponds, Marshall and Charlemont, and broader areas across Armstrong Creek, Mount Duneed and as far south as Torquay.
A Community Reference Group was formed to test project findings. This group includes a cross section of the community and key stakeholders.
The population of Armstrong Creek and the surrounding areas is expected to boom over the next 20 years, adding approximately 7,000 school-age residents to the area by 2036.
To meet this increased demand the review recommends the government either:
- relocate Oberon High School to the Armstrong Creek Education Precinct by 2021 and build a second secondary school in Armstrong Creek by 2036
- build two new secondary schools in Armstrong Creek area, by 2026 and 2036.
The Victorian Government has announced that Oberon High School will relocate to a new modern campus on the Armstrong Creek Education Precinct.
Why is a new school being built, where and when?
As part of the Andrews’ Labor Government commitment to making Victoria The Education State, the land purchased to establish new schools within the Armstrong Creek precinct will enable the opening, in 2018, of both a primary school and a special school.
The recruitment of a principal to oversee both of these schools will commence shortly, and the new principal will begin working with the community in 2017 so that the schools are ready for their first students in 2018.
Within the same parcel of land there is a site for the construction of a secondary college which will have its own principal.
When they are operational, these three schools will create an outstanding education precinct that supports all learners from Foundation through to Year 12 in brand new facilities.
How will Oberon High School staff be affected?
Given Oberon High School is relocating a short distance to a new location, it is expected that there will be minimal impact on staff arising from the relocation.
The Department will work closely with staff, their representatives and the school on any individual issues associated with the relocation.
With the population across the Armstrong Creek precinct predicted to grow in years to come, there is a healthy outlook for schools establishing in this area.
More students will result in more demand for skilled and outstanding teachers to support excellent learning outcomes.
What will happen to students currently enrolled at Oberon High School if the school relocates? Will they have to move schools?
When a school changes location, students can retain their enrolment at that school.
If changes in neighbourhood enrolment boundaries mean that a student enrolled at one school now resides within the boundary of a different school, then families can choose to seek enrolment at that school or to stay with their original school.
When Oberon High School is relocated, the choices families make will be accommodated by the local schools in accordance with the Department’s Placement and Enrolment policies.
Why don’t you keep Oberon High School and open a new school?
When Surf Coast Secondary College opened in 2012 the demographic demand in southern Geelong altered.
Children and young people from the surf coast can now attend a school in their local area rather than having to travel to Geelong. That is a great outcome for those surf coast children and families.
Before the opening of Surf Coast Secondary College, Oberon High school was the most accessible school for surf coast kids.
The possible date for relocating Oberon High School is still being considered by the Department. A decision in relation to the relocation will result from careful thought and from listening to the feedback various stakeholders provided within the review process.
Where should children from Armstrong Creek enrol for secondary schooling in the years before a relocation of Oberon High School?
When a future announcement is made about the provision of a secondary school for Armstrong Creek, this will provide clarity for families.
When Oberon High School is relocated as part of that future announcement, then a family from Armstrong Creek could choose to either enrol their child at the school they are currently zoned for or enrol them at Oberon High School.
This option provides the greatest flexibility for families, particularly those with younger siblings who are planning well into the future.
Where will the school be built?
Oberon High School will relocate to the new Armstrong Education Precinct.
Who is paying for Oberon High School to move?
The Victorian Government will prioritise funding for the relocation of Oberon High School in future State Budgets.
What are the project timelines?
The Victorian Government will prioritise funding for the relocation of Oberon High School in future State Budgets. Once funding is allocated, the timeframes for the delivery of the school will be confirmed.
What will be the impact on the community?
Whilst it is expected that the majority of students would transfer to the new location of Oberon High School, in the longer term the local schools for the current Oberon High School catchment would become Grovedale College and Belmont High School. Armstrong Creek is approximately 9km from the current Oberon High School, and the relocation may add approximately 10 – 20 minutes travel time for families who currently reside within the Oberon High School catchment.
What are the boundary changes?
When Oberon High School is relocated, changes in the Designated Neighbourhood Boundaries will be communicated as part of that future announcement.
Essentially, the current boundary for Oberon High School will be removed and the boundaries of Belmont High School and Grovedale College will expand to include the current catchment of Oberon High School. A new boundary will be created between Grovedale College and Surf Coast Secondary College, representing an area that is halfway between these schools and the relocated school.