Media and Media Releases


ABC: Opposition to relocation of Perth Modern school.

The West: Backlash over Perth Mod move to City.

Business News: Parents Rally against Labor School Plan

Media Release March 8th, 2017

Perth Modern parents mobilise against ill-conceived plan

Labor fails to send a spokesperson to speak at parent forum

Level of public support for affected students is rising

Parents at Perth Modern School, the State’s sole academically selective school, are up in arms at WA Labor’s plan to move them from the current site at Roberts Road to a skyscraper in the city. Labor proposes to name the new school “Perth Academic College”.

A meeting at North Perth Bowling Club was held last night. Continue reading “Media and Media Releases”

Huge Information night — but Labor are a No Show. Afraid to explain Skyscraper School to parents?

election-2017  After dropping the disruptive, upsetting plan on the families of Perth Mod, Labor was unable to find a single person to defend Education Central. Instead, nearly one third of  families affected managed to come on short notice and nearly every other party managed to find a representative. Panel members included Peter Collier (Minister of Education, Lib), Mike Nahan (Treasurer, WA, Lib), Alison Xamon (Greens),  Julie Matheson and Andrew Mangano (Julie Matheson for Western Australia Party) plus local M.P.s Elani Evangel (Perth), and Michael Sutherland (Mt Lawley).

Mark McGowan, Sue Ellery, Peter Carey, Simon Millman and Alannah MacTiernan were invited but not present. The Labor party did not even send a substitute. How much do they love this Flagship project? Not. The Tower of Babylon is a lemon.

Pauline Hanson sent apologies and the message: “Schools were not meant to be offices. Kids need a balance of outdoor activities on ovals and in playgrounds as well as in the classroom.”

It was standing room only with an estimated 200 people. Packed.

Businessnews Western Australia reports: Labor’s education spokeswoman, Sue Ellery, said although she was unable to attend tonight’s meeting she has discussed the issue with the parents representatives on Sunday. If Labor wins Saturdays election, Ms Ellery undertook to consult fully with relevant groups to ensure the smooth implementation of the policy. But she indicated there was little room for compromise, saying ‘the policy is the policy”. –see Labor’s Modern School Backlash

But there are no “parents representatives”. Sue Ellery has met with a string of angry individual parents, but because this bombshell was dropped on the families of Perth Modern School during an election campaign, there are no organised representatives on this topic. Just 1,000 angry families.

Consultation about the color of the walls after a decision that no Perth Mod family had a say in is not consultation.

The Labor Party could have discussed this a year ago. IMG_2905.JPG Leaving it to the last minute suggests they knew Perth Mod families would not want it and didn’t want to allow them time to protest. Except they are. Teams are working to inform voters of the office-block-school for 11 year olds that’s next to pubs and drugs and of the $40m hole in the future budget for Mt Lawley SHS and Churchlands SHS.  (Contact us to offer to help!)


MUST SEE EVENT: Town Hall Style Information Night Tuesday!

election-2017 URGENT: There was no consultation for the Labor Policy to end Perth Mod as we know it and parents are FURIOUS. To get answers about education policies in the coming election (6 days to go) we have invited representatives from all major political parties to answer parents questions.

North Perth Bowling Club on Tuesday 7th March, 2017.

Address: Farmer St, Woodville Reserve, North Perth WA 6006

Time: 7 for 7:30pm



Click to enlarge

VOLUNTEERS: Please contact us if you can help hand out flyers, letter box drop, call other parents (some still don’t know what’s coming!)

Just for starters: Funding, legal, and ethical problems

election-2017 One parent below helpfully points out the hefty hurdles and legal problems the Labor party face in shooting for this extremely ambitious plan. There is a blistering two year, eight month schedule to develop and build a large multifunctional collaborative project involving disparate groups with an experimental untested design. This is not  off-the-shelf. In a rushed, botched version, the Labor party could leave the state with a leased white elephant commitment rumoured to cost in the order of $13m a year just for the rent bill. At the same time, it drives a pike through community fundraising and bequests that take the pressure off the public purse.

In brief: To ensure value-for-money from using taxpayer funds, government, through the Department of Treasury, has a  Strategic Assessment Management Framework (SAMF) which describes best practice….

…there is a danger that an outgoing Labor government in 2021 could bequeath an unwanted lease obligation to a new government.

…there will be an expropriation of parent funded assets by a WA Labor government. This is undemocratic and unAustralian.

…if there is no respect of legacy endowments, gifts and donations, there will be a commensurate disincentive to undertake these activities in the future: all will be poorer for it.

…A test of cost-benefit analysis in economics is to apply weights to assessment of benefits. With no consultation, no weight has been applied to the wishes of the Perth Modern school community. Nor does there appear to have been active consultation with other affected school communities so far – just a presumption that they will support Labor’s proposal. Thus the proposal is simply a political move and has nothing to do with improving educational outcomes. Parents of Perth Modern should resist this project. Parents of other affected schools should be given an opportunity to be heard too.

How not to develop a project – WA Labor’s proposal to replace Perth Modern

project noun ˈprɒdʒɛkt/

an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.

Best practice suggests that projects are typically bounded in scope, time and cost. Projects go through a lifecycle: identification, planning and feasibility, conceptual engineering, detailed design, procurement and construction, commissioning and start-up, working life and decommissioning. Projects, to be successful, are conceived with input from stakeholders, professionals and users. Projects need coordination. Continue reading “Just for starters: Funding, legal, and ethical problems”

Medical research raises questions about increased risk of myopia, asthma, depression, anxiety.

UPDATE: Some readers are missing that many of the links here are to peer reviewed medical research. Please follow the links to the Medical Library references.

Medical research shows children (and adults too) need natural spaces and full spectrum light.

A skyscraper school is unhealthy

Light coming through windows is not the same as outdoor light. Glass filters out some wavelengths and the intensity is just 0.5% of midday sunlight. Office lighting is around 500 lux, but outdoor direct sunlight is 100,000 lux. There is no way to recreate the same effect indoors easily. Human tissues respond to these differences. Natural full spectrum outdoor light is associated with better vision, better mental health and better sleep. In office workers, natural elements (greenery) and sunlight increase job satisfaction, commitment, improved mood and lower anxiety.

Less outdoor activity means more myopia and the need for glasses. UV B exposure in teens and young adults is associated with better vision. It turns out it’s not books that cause short-sightedness, but a lack of time outdoors that matters. And there may be life long effects; children with myopia grow up to have a higher risk of glucoma, retinal detachment and cataracts.

An indoor lifestyle means more vitamin D deficiency, and an increased risk for many chronic diseases including autoimmune diseases, asthma, some cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, schizophrenia and type 2 diabetes. This is especially important in students with dark skin (and Perth Mod has many kids with every kind of skin). Chidlren are often low in Vitamin D even in sunny countries. Sixty eight percent of children in Ethiopian cities were vitamin D deficient. City children were three times as likely to be deficient as rural ones. Vitamin D deficiency is a public health problem.

There are only 200 school age children who live in the inner city of Perth. It’s not a high density kid zone. It’s the CBD.

*Headline edited 30-3-2017

NO! We don’t want a new identity

Perth Mod families don’t want a new name, a new identity, new bags, and new uniforms. It’s a pointless make-work scheme that increases employment …in China.

We don’t want to break the connection with the Modernians who bring wisdom, help and donations to the school.

The students of Perth Mod earned the great name. The name belongs to them.

We will fight to keep it.


Sample letter: “wanton vandalism”


Dear xxxx,

I am writing to protest regarding your announcement regarding the future of Perth Modern school. As a parent of a child at the school, I have seen her grow and develop as a result of excellent teaching and facilities. To propose to move the school to an inner city location is an act of wanton vandalism

In opposition, you have constantly berated this government for the way that it has handled capital investment. Yet you have announced a plan without undertaking stakeholder consultation and apparently without seeking Department of Education and Department of Treasury input. Where is the business case, the independently verified costings, the in-principle lease agreement?

This election was, for me, about ALL the issues. However now it has become single issue. I will not vote for Labor if this policy is not put to a proper and independent assessment by those best placed to do so (Education, Treasury).

In three weeks time I will be casting my vote. A vote for Labor is not a possibility whilst this policy remains without clarification. I am urging the 1000 plus Perth Modern families, drawn from across the State, to make a similar stand. This is a tight election and you need votes in marginal seats to win government. Our 1000 families can make the difference between government and opposition. I urge you to consider that carefully.

Yours sincerely,

Father, Perth.

Tell the media what you think!


30 Fielder Street, East Perth WA 6004  (GPO Box 9994, Perth WA 6848)
Phone (08) 9220 2700
Fax (08) 9220 2727
(Local Radio station: 720 ABC Perth)
Local Manager: Sarah Knight

The West Australian:     email

Channel 7 News:

Mailing address: PO Box 77, Tuart Hill WA 6060.
Switchboard: (08) 9344 0777.
Newsroom fax: (08) 9344 0808.
General fax: (08) 9344 0670.

Submit a story to 7 news. (Choose the WA  state to get the right newsroom)

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Send in your links!

Take a great community — wreck it?

There’s something very special about the Perth Mod extended family. Perth Mod was designed as an academic selection school and the original Perth Modernians are still helping, sharing their wisdom, enthusiasm, and raising funds to improve the campus. Talented Modernians donate everything from art to wine for the P&C and school. They helped built a brand new gym — a fantastic resource. And the walls of the school are peppered with plaques and trophies of former Modernians and their achievements.

The new plans will extinguish this, breaking the trust of helpers, and cutting the connection which is proving so useful. Being gifted is a blessing but also a burden. It can be a lonely path being the only kid in a school who wants to do binary code at lunch time.

For many kids, Perth Mod is the first time they’ve found a kindred spirit.

The current site links students across the generations with strangers who may have graduated 70 years ago. It is a fragile and special thing.

A high rise building in the city would be leased, erasing the history and preventing any chance of owning the space, creating an equivalent identity. Not to mention the rent will mean significant money taken out of the education budget. (There are rumours the Education Department is expecting to spend something like $13m pa on rent.)

*Edited April 7th to correct $30m to $13m pa and for clarity and tone.

The reality of a “high-rise”school

There is only one “vertical school” in Perth and it’s new, small, and private.

Does anyone think it is realistic to put 1,500 students on a roof? Perth Modern is six times larger than the only high-rise school in Perth which has 230 students and has been running for just one or two years.

The future appears to be a concrete jungle, steel mesh, and the sound and smell of traffic. Continue reading “The reality of a “high-rise”school”

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