In planning for this year, we anticipated a student enrolment of around 1080 students and felt that as in previous years, this would be a reasonably accurate reflection of where the College numbers would be at around census time at the end of February. Unfortunately, awkward planning is only as good as the outcomes that flow from it. This year, our planning has fallen well short of the reality that we find ourselves in. At census day on 28 February, we were approximately 60 students above our targeted projection and this experience has continued, with enrolment enquiries being received at the College on a daily basis.
When planning each year for the anticipated number of students predicted to be enrolled at the College, we establishes the number of home groups at each year level that we believe will both accommodate the anticipated enrolment at each year level and allow for some growth that historically we have found will occur throughout the year. In our case in particular, we know for example that a number of students will come to us from the English Language School located on site at the College. While it is not possible to predict the exact number of students to come to us out of the Noble Park English Language School on site, historically, we have had between 5 and 30 students in each of Terms 2 and 3 each year. While obviously this makes it difficult to plan, to this point in time, our predictions have fallen very much exactly as we had anticipated and the inflow from the Language School had not caused concerns for us.
This year, however, has seen a very different experience for us. Whilst the Language School, through negotiations between the Department and ourselves, were provided with additional accommodation to take account of an expected increase in enrolment projected for them, this additional facilitation for additional rooms, has proven totally inadequate for the enrolment intake this year. Currently, there are 55 students on a waiting list for enrolment in the Language School. The students span across all year levels and while they remain on the waiting list for a place in the Language School, they are enrolled in local schools with several of them being directed to Hampton Park Secondary College.
This, of course, is in addition to the large number of enrolments that have come into the College so far this year. The impact of these factors has meant that at Year 8 and Year 10 in particular, we have run out of space to enrol any additional students who come to us. Whilst we are taking action to redirect students away from the College wherever possible, students who arrive to us who are resident's in Hampton Park are guaranteed enrolment at the college under government policy.
Over the last two weeks, this situation is at a critical level where drastic action is now required of us. At the commencement of next term, it is highly likely that we will need to add an additional Home Group at Years 8 and 10. This will mean that some students across each of the two Year levels will need to be reallocated across home groups. Whilst every effort will be made to ensure continuity of teaching and learning for our students, it must be recognised that this will not necessarily be entirely possible and that some alteration to student’s individual programs may be necessary as a consequence of the changes.
The increased enrolment at the college this year has been unprecedented and whilst this in the long-term will be positive for the college, it is undeniable that in the short term, it will pose some difficulties for us.