Ormiston State School STEM classrooms stolen away: Oodgeroo MP

BUILDINGS MOVED: The school's built capacity is 630 students, the Education Department says.
BUILDINGS MOVED: The school's built capacity is 630 students, the Education Department says.

OODGEROO MP Mark Robinson says Education Minister Grace Grace used "the cover of yuletide" to remove two demountable classrooms from Ormiston State School.

But the Education Department said after seven years, the classrooms were no longer needed at Ormiston and had been taken toanother school.

A Department spokesperson did not respond to questions about what the rooms had been used for, but Mr Robinson said they had housed science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) lessons.

"Labor can't on the one hand boast about expanding STEM to give more opportunities for girls and then at the same time steal away STEM demountables at Ormiston State School," he said.

"The demountable buildings were needed in 2020 to deliver the full STEM program and were critical given the school numbers are still higher than when the buildings first arrived."

Redlands LNP candidate Henry Pike said capacity issues were being felt across Redlands' schools.

But the Education Department spokesperson said enrolment numbers for 2020 were 60 students short of the school's built capacity.

The spokesperson said in 2013, when the demountables had been installed, nearly two-thirds of students came from outside the catchment area, putting pressure on the school's facilities.

At the time, there were 552 students. It was a significant increase from 500 students in 2011.

An enrolment plan had since been put in place and out-of-catchment enrolments had dropped by about 20 per cent.

Student numbers peaked at more than 600 in 2017, but have now dropped to about 570. The school has a built capacity for 630 students.

In early 2019, the call was made to keep the extra classrooms while numbers were monitored.

"The Department reassessed the need for the building and because the school has adequate educational infrastructure to meet the needs of current enrolments and in-catchment enrolments into the future, the building was removed in January 2020," the spokesperson said.

"The two classrooms were required at another state school for the start of 2020 to cater for increased growth. They have since been installed at this school."

The department would monitor Ormiston State School's enrolment patterns and provide a permanent building if needed in the future.