REVEALED: Gympie schools that are losing students
A LITERAL youth movement is underway in the region, with state enrolment figures for the past five years revealing schools on the outskirts of Gympie are gaining at the city’s expense.
The data reveals a significant shift in the past five years among the 12 schools with enrolments of 100 students or more.
Five of the six schools with dwindling enrolments were city-based: Gympie Central State School, Gympie South State School, Gympie State High School, James Nash State High School and One Mile State School.
Gympie High lost the biggest percentage of these, a 17 per cent loss that took student numbers from 1165 to 958.
Tin Can Bay State School (P-10) was the only non-city school on this list; it suffered a staggering 29 per cent drop, from 385 students to 271.
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Of the six schools to experience student growth since 2015, four of were in regional areas: Chatsworth State School, Goomeri State School, Gympie East State School, and Mary Valley College (P-10).
Gympie East was the biggest mover with enrolments surging from 115 to 169, followed by Chatsworths’ growth from 182 students in 2015 to 242 last year.
Jones Hill State School and Gympie West rounded out the list.
The number of enrolments in the region at state schools also dropped, from 6198 in 2015 to 5998 last year.
This shift could also be reinforced in the future: speaking about the region’s demographically shrinking 0-9 age group, demographer Simon Kuestenmacher said Gympie could expect more people to move into rural areas in the wake of COVID.
The city would become the choice for people entering their retirement years who lived in these smaller town, the director of research and co-founder of The Demographics Group said, owing to the “risk” associated with being far away from medical services.