Maroubra Junction Public School to Benefit from Opportunity Class Redistribution

Maroubra Junction Public School will welcome new opportunity classes for gifted students starting in 2025 as part of an initiative to manage school overcrowding and balance enrolments across the city.

To alleviate congestion in certain schools and maximise resource utilisation, adjustments to the allocation of opportunity class placements within Sydney’s public schools have been underway since April 2024. Schools such as Woollahra Public and Artarmon Public, long-standing hosts of these classes, will see reductions in the places they offer. In contrast, Lindfield East, Brookvale, and Maroubra Junction Public will gain additional classes.

There are 15 spots each year for academically gifted Year 5 students at Maroubra Junction Public School. Parents interested in applying for these new classes can submit their applications in the spring of 2024.

NSW Education Minister Prue Car stated that the decision aims to evenly distribute resources and simplify enrolment processes for families with multiple children attending the same school. The intention is to reduce dependence on temporary classrooms and provide more opportunities for out-of-area students to attend schools with available capacity.

Maroubra Junction Public School
Photo Credit: Briggs Jourdan/Google Maps

Program Expansion and Applications

The existing 1,840 opportunity class positions will be maintained, but the number of participating schools will increase to 87. This move comes in response to the increasing demand for specialised education for gifted Year 5 and 6 students, highlighted by the intense competition for these coveted spots, with over 15,000 applicants this year alone.

Some schools, such as Blacktown West and Miranda, will introduce a new class each accommodating 15 gifted students. In contrast, schools like Balgowlah Heights and Kingswood Public will see their intake numbers halved, a decision driven by the varying demands and enrolment capacities at these locations.

Responses to Changes

Education experts and community leaders have voiced mixed reactions. While some see redistribution as a fairer approach to accommodating gifted students across more schools, others express concern over the impact of schools losing many opportunity class placements. There is also discussion on the broader implications for parents and students who plan to enrol in traditionally popular schools.

The NSW Department of Education remains committed to supporting gifted education. Policies are being reviewed and adjusted to ensure equitable access for all students. This includes an ongoing focus on broadening the reach of educational programs that cater to high-potential students outside the traditional opportunity and selective school frameworks. Updates on these policy reviews are expected later in the year.

Published 23-April-2024