The Hobart

Hobart Schools Stretched: South Hobart Library To Close

by Stephanie Williams
Hobart Schools Stretched: South Hobart Library To Close

Inner city Hobart schools are reaching capacity and students are beginning to lose access to vital educational tools. The South Hobart Primary School recently lost its library, after it was closed to be repurposed as classrooms to meet 2021 enrolment numbers. But with no clear master plan for the school in place, it’s looking like at least three to five years before the students will have access to a library again.

On ABC Radio Hobart in late November, while talking to presenter Leon Compton, Minister for Education, Jeremy Rockcliff stated that no school should be without a library. Libraries are not only important to embed a lifelong interest and ability to research and learn, they are safe space and sanctuary for kids at school. So how are Hobart kids left without a library option critical to their learning?

To access capital works funding, each school must have a master plan, formulated by the Department of Education. The last masterplan for South Hobart Primary was created in 2011 and included building works that were completed three years ago. The school was immediately at capacity once those works were complete. Principal Anne Reeves stopped out of catchment enrolments from 2019 (perhaps preempting an escalation in capacity issues) in an attempt to quell numbers but as yet, the Department hasn’t come forth with a new master plan to account for future growth.

South Hobart, like many inner city areas, is experiencing a change in demographic as young families move in putting pressure on schools. For example, at South Hobart student numbers are reported to have grown from 150 in 2002, to 243 in 2010 to 455 in 2020 and around 500 in 2021. Class sizes are currently at or beyond capacity. Chair of the SHPS Association, Anna Powell, said their first request to the Department is to update the master plan. “While there’s immediate issues around where the interim library is going to be, the bigger issue is this hasn’t been foreseen for ten years, with inadequate planning and funding for this school,” Anna said. “We need a master plan that’s fit for purpose, growth and facilities that we think a school needs in the next generation of kids.” It’s understood that other inner city schools are also having growth issues, but some have master plans in place. “Lansdowne Crescent Primary school doesn’t have a library for 12 months but they have a timeframe on that because it’s only while they’re building,” Anna said. “Our concern is we’re losing our library but there’s no plan for how we get it back.”

Love this

Cold Water Wake Up Call
It seems everywhere I turn someone is talking about or participating in cold water swimming right now.
A Short Geelong Getaway
Since the Spirit of Tasmania terminal moved from Melbourne to Geelong late last year, a visit to Geelong has been on the radar.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
February 2024

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!