Gladstone South State School principal Kurt Goodwin has been out drumming up business.
Gladstone South State School principal Kurt Goodwin has been out drumming up business. Mike Richards GLASOTH

Principal taking his low enrolment numbers to streets

GLADSTONE South State School principal Kurt Goodwin is a man on a mission.

Six years ago the school's enrolment numbers went into decline. When once it had a roll of 1000 students, today that number sits around 280.

So Mr Goodwin, the principal of two years, is hitting the streets to drum up some interest, and change the community's perception of the school he runs and loves.

He has made personal visits to all pre-school facilities in the city; meeting with parents to explain one-on-one about the great things the school has to offer.

Gladstone South is also the only school in Gladstone that is not enrolment managed, or restricted by zoning, primarily because of the school's size and the small roll.

"We can take students from all over Gladstone, where others are restricted by zones," he said.

"We still have the space, and our students have the luxury of being educated in classrooms where there were once about 60. Now we have roughly 24 in each room."

Gladstone South is the only school here to have its own swimming pool; a huge benefit, Mr Goodwin says, because all students have an opportunity to learn to swim.

"Along with that we have two huge sports ovals, so the students have plenty of room to play."

He said while the marketing plan was about increasing enrolments, it was also an effort to achieve a cultural image change within the community.

"We've got lots of room for growth and while we wouldn't want to see it back at the 1000 level, we could quite comfortably double in size.

"However, people seem to make assumptions about the school and the area it's in, which I believe are totally wrong.

"We just want to let people come and see what a great school we have here, with modern facilities and great teachers. I have never come across such a devoted group of teachers in my teaching career."

Mr Goodwin came to Gladstone two years ago after being principal of the five-teacher school at Anakie in Queensland's Central Highlands.

"My family loves it here; we love the area, the school. Our children go to the school and my wife is a teacher here as well."