Principal Report 2019 | TERM FOUR | 15 NOVEMBER

Building Update

The building is on schedule with the completion date of the building to be on the 20th December. It is hard to believe that in only 24 days, the building will be complete and ready for us to move in. We are currently waiting for confirmation from our Wurrunderji Elder, Aunty Di to come to our grand opening in 2020 to open the new building. We are anticipating that this will happen on the first week back of school. We will keep you updated with the date as soon as we hear from Aunty Di.

Hard to believe that it will be finished in just 24 days!

School Fees

The school fees have been finalised by School Council and will be ready to receive payment on the 28th January 2020. The fees support the school in providing resources for the students. We would like to kindly ask all parents to consider paying the full amount as these fees support the school in providing the extra support needed for schools to run effectively. In 2020, our fees will go towards student materials as well as support for a school First Aider, school Technician and support to provide resources for our Building and Library (Building and Library Funds are tax deductible). You will find the Coburg North Parent Payment Policy on the school website. Please do not hesitate to contact the Business Manager Debb Davis if you have any questions or wish to set up a payment plan.

2020 Grade Structures

This time of year schools are busy finishing off the year as well as putting in place structures for the following year. We have confirmed our grade structures for next year taking into consideration our numbers across the school, department and union guidelines, as well as what we can afford in our school’s budget.

The department guidelines on class sizes state that they should be planned on the minimum possible and planned on the following basis.

F-6 an average of 26 provided that the average class size of 21 is maintained at F-2 (Management of Teacher Work: DET, page 6).

In 2020 we have an enrolment of 573. Considering the above requirements (this is how we get funded), we are only entitled to 22 teachers across the whole school which means that our numbers in F-2 will be at 21, but will blow out to 36 students in each class in Years 3-6.

Due to large numbers in the Junior School, we will need to include extra teachers to reduce class sizes in the middle school. This is a cost to the school and ultimately affect the organisation structure (short term) until our numbers even out. We will employ an extra 3 classroom teachers out of or school budget. It is important to note that we are also carrying an extra teacher for our specialist program, which leaves the school to budget for, 4 extra teachers in total.


The numbers for each year level in 2020 are:

  • Foundation: 92 students
  • Year One: 85 students
  • Year Two: 106 students
  • Year Three: 97 students
  • Year Four: 77 students
  • Year Five: 71 students
  • Year Six: 45 students


Therefore our class structures for next year will comprise of the following:

  • Foundation: 5 classes, average class size of 19
  • Year One: 4 classes, average class size of 22
  • Year Two: 5 classes, average class size of 22
  • Year Three: 4 classes, average class size of 25
  • Year Four: 3 classes, average class size of 26
  • Year Five/Six: 4 classes, average class size of 29

Other Important Things to Note About Our Growing Numbers

Available Classrooms: Schools are given a set amount of classrooms according to the ratio above. CNPS has a cap of 650 students which means that according to our projected numbers, we are only entitled to 25 classrooms. Based on this, we have already reached our quota. We no longer will have any portables or extra classrooms that are funded by the department, therefore any classrooms that the school would like, will need to be funded by the school. This will also include the school to fund the cleaning and electricity/maintainance costs to the building as it will not be funded by DET.

Leadership: A growing school requires extra leadership. It is typical for a school with a size of over 500 students to have 2 Assistant Principals. It is also a DET requirement for schools with over 18 classroom teachers to have 2 Learning Specialists. It is also typical for a school of this size to have a Leading Teacher. The school needs to factor these additional costs into the school staffing budget. Unfortunately due to needing more teaching staff, we cannot afford a Leading Teacher.

Specialist: Teachers are entitled to 2.5 hours of APT (time release), which means that primary schools are required to have, as a minimum, 2.5 specialists. CNPS has over this amount, employing another 1.5 teachers to have 4 specialist programs (PE, Art, Music and Italian). This enhances the curriculum and allows for students to have opportunities to shine in other areas outside of literacy and mathematics. This is an extra cost to the school.

Support Teachers: CNPS has extra support for students in terms of a part time Speech Pathologist and part time Welfare Officer. In 2020 we are also self-funding a First Aid Officer to provide first aid support to students, as well as a part time school technician to allow the school to run technology programs effectively. Next year we will have one of our own teachers outside of the classroom to relieve teachers during their Professional Practice days to allow for stability across the school for the first 6 months. These additional supports are a cost to the school.

Loss in Equity Funding: Over the past 5 years, CNPS’s SFO (Student Family Occupation), has continued to drop significantly (currently at 0.1387), which means a loss of funding. The SFO is based upon the type of occupations our families have. DET bases equity funding on this with the belief that students who have educated parents don’t need extra support. With new families coming into Coburg North, we have seen a massive decrease in this funding. This has impacted the school’s budget.

With all these factors in mind, small class sizes are not possible. In saying this, CNPS has provided more than what the department has recommended in terms of extra teachers (x3), extra specialists (x 1.5) and extra support (x5). We have developed an excellent staff profile that is committed to providing the best educational experience for the students of CNPS. If anyone would like to discuss the class sizes further, or would like some clarification on any of the things mentioned above, please don’t hesitate to come up and speak to me before and after school.

Remembrance Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month has a special significance in the post war years. This day has become universally associated with the remembrance of those who had died in the war. This year our school captains represented the school by placing a wreath by the Cenotaph at Rogers Reserve in Pascoe Vale. We would like to thank our school captains who represented us proudly at the event which holds great significance to everyone who has lost loved one from war.

Until next newsletter, have a good one,

Monika Gruss