17/10/2014 - 16:01

New era for Murdoch

17/10/2014 - 16:01

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A Perth secondary school will cut its tuition fees by up to 30 per cent when it moves to the CBD.

New era for Murdoch
POSITIVE: Rensche Diggeden says the move from Murdoch will be good for the school. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A new secondary school will open its doors to students in the CBD early next year, with final development approval of Perth Anglican Grammar School lodged last week.

The school currently exists as Murdoch College, and is located in the grounds of Murdoch University, but the entity will soon join the Anglican Schools Commission and relocate to a refurbished six-storey office building at 50 William Street.

One current attraction of Murdoch College is its independent non-denominational school status, although this will change when its relocation and renaming takes place.

The decision to join the ASC will address the funding problem that came with the decline in enrolments at Murdoch College.

The school will lower its tuition fees by up to 30 per cent when it becomes part of the ASC.

Tuition fees for a local year 10 students at Murdoch College in 2014 would cost $14,250, while the annual fee for the same student will be $9,900 at Perth Anglican Grammar School.

ASC chief executive officer Peter Laurence said the commission could reduce the tuition fees for the school because of the backing it now had.

“We have a tried and tested model of being able to effectively keep fees at a reasonability modest level and yet still offer some really good resources,” he said.

However, the fees will still be higher than all other ASC-backed schools in the state, which Reverend Laurence said was the ‘CBD premium’ associated with the new location.

The school will also outsource a number of recreational facilities, with the sporting program designed around public facilities in the area, including Loftus Recreation Centre.

Murdoch College principal Rensche Diggeden said the physical relocation and absorption into the ASC group were important for the school’s future.

Murdoch College campus is built for around 800 students, we’ve never had 800 students and never will,” she said.

“We’re paying for facilities that we don’t use and that we haven’t used in 14 years”

The school currently has 280 students, although Ms Diggeden said this number was expected to grow closer to its 420-student capacity at its new campus.

Rev Laurence said the organisation had planned an inner-city secondary school for a number of years, and wanted to add to this with a primary school in the CBD by the end of the decade.

The CBD school will be the ASC’s 11th in Western Australia and 14th nationally, with two new eastern states schools announced last month and one existing school in Victoria.

The school’s campus at Murdoch will revert to Murdoch University after the move, with plans for future use of the grounds expected to be released by the end of the year.

Perth Anglican Grammar School is the second ASC school due to be opened in 2015, with St James Anglican School in Alkimos opening in term one.

St James will cater to primary students only in its first year and has a 1,100-student capacity at full enrolment.

Business News reported last week that a new 430-student state primary school in Ellenbrook’s residential development, Annie’s Landing, has been approved and is scheduled to open in 2016.

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