Salisbury State School Faces Overcrowded Classrooms Amid Growing Concerns

Six Brisbane primary schools are dealing with a serious problem with overcrowded classrooms, and Salisbury State School is at the forefront of it.

Recent reports reveal that these schools have exceeded Education Queensland’s class-size targets, sparking debates on the impact of class sizes on educational quality.

Photo Credit: Salisbury State School

Education Queensland’s targets set a maximum of 25 students for prep to year 3 and years 11 and 12, and 28 students for years 4 to 10. However, Salisbury State School, along with Mackenzie State Primary School and Wavell Heights State School, failed to meet these targets for the younger grades.

Salisbury State School reported an average class size of 27 for prep to year 3, highlighting the strain on resources and the need for additional support.

Seville Road State School, with an average class size of 30 students, along with Eight Mile Plains State School and Petrie Terrace State School, each with 29 students, also struggled to meet the target for years 4 to 6. The impact of these overcrowded conditions is most acute at Seville Road State School, which, despite having the smallest student population of 121, reported the largest average class size.

Wavell Heights State School, the largest among the six with 418 students, also faces similar challenges. Despite these numbers, some parents argue that class size alone does not determine the quality of education.

East Brisbane State School serves as a contrasting example. With an average class size of 24 for years 4 to 6, it boasts one of Brisbane’s smallest class sizes. This school also recently celebrated a community victory, securing its location through 2026 after plans for a redevelopment of the Gabba were shelved. Parents and students here report high satisfaction rates, with 100 percent of surveyed students expressing enthusiasm for their school and teachers.

Photo Credit: Earnshaw State College

Earnshaw State College, a prep to year 12 school in Brisbane’s north-east, represents another positive outlier. It has managed to keep its class sizes well below the target, with an average of 13 students in years 11 to 12 and only 7 percent of prep to year 3 classes exceeding the target. An Education Queensland spokeswoman highlighted that most classes above the target were only slightly over, often by one or two students. She stressed that class-size targets are guidelines rather than strict limits.

Cresta Richardson, President of the Queensland Teachers’ Union, argued that smaller class sizes enable more individual attention and better educational outcomes. She called for full funding of state schools to ensure every child receives the necessary support to thrive.

As these schools continue to grapple with the challenges of overcrowded classrooms, the debate on the importance of class size versus additional support remains critical. The experiences of schools like Salisbury State School and East Brisbane State School highlight the complexities of providing quality education in diverse and often challenging conditions.