Kids Peeing Their Pants Due To Lack Of Toilets At Sydney School
A mother of two has shared her son's schoolyard anguish and embarrassment in a bid to shed light on the dire circumstances facing students at a western Sydney primary school.
Marinda Thornton's children attend Parramatta East Primary school, which parents say is bursting at the seams and unable to accommodate the school's population, which has doubled in a decade.
"There are six toilets for the girls in this school. That is not good, it is not healthy , most of them cant even wait long enough to get to the toilet," she told 10 News First.
The school has a total of 10 toilets and more than 615 students.
"Luke has come home in clothes that we didn't send him to school in, because he just couldn't wait long enough ... he was very embarrassed," she said.
Due to repeated toilet accidents while waiting in line, Thornton's eight-year-old son now won't tell the teacher.
"There are times when that's happened and he hasn't actually told anyone at school or told the teachers but he'll come and tell me, 'mummy I had an accident'," Thornton said.
The majority of students at the school also use semi-permanent classrooms.
There are now 23 demountables at the Brabyn St school, along with five brick buildings, and a further toilet demountable about to open.
Frustrated parents have submitted a petition with 1382 signatures to Parramatta State Liberal MP Geoff Lee calling for a long-term solution to fix the 70-year-old school.
"I'd like to address the minister of education, Sarah Mitchell, please help our kids and fix our school, they deserve it," local parent Fiona Demetriadis told 10 News First.
The government's stock of 6100 demountables is expected to be fully deployed by 2020 and it is forecast that a further 5800 new demountables will be needed by 2030 to house an enrolment surge of 21 percent.
The Department of Education provides demountable accommodation to school sites to supplement permanent facilities where local enrolments exceed the availability of permanent accommodation.
And there are currently more NSW students being educated in demountables than ever before.
"Obviously there's a lot of growth in the Parramatta region and there is pressure on that school community at the moment in terms of space, that's why we are make a lot of investments in the Parramatta region in our public schools," the state's education Minister Sarah Mitchell told reporters on Thursday.
In the decade between 2005 and 2015 the Parramatta area experienced more than 26 percent growth in its population. It was the biggest population boom in the state.
The state government has spent $225 million in the same suburb for a high-rise high school and is opening a new primary school nearby.
"Once that [primary] school opens we expect that will take away some of the pressure on the student enrollment [at Parramatta East Primary]," Mitchell said.
But the opposition education spokesperson Prue Carr says that's not good enough and that the "neglected school" needs help immediately.
"We need an upgrade to the school. We see that 80 percent demountables and kids are waiting in line to use 10 toilets this is unacceptable," Carr said.
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