The Northcote Electorate State School Alliance (NESSA) has been formed by a group of concerned parents and carers, that represent state schools across the Victorian electorate of Northcote. We are seeking to obtain government funds to raise the standards of our state school buildings and match the excellent standard of education that those schools provide. We intend to advocate as an aligned and supportive team, to raise awareness across the electorate, engage other public school parents and lobby for recognition by our political representatives in state and federal governments, that funding buildings for public schools in the Northcote electorate is an urgent priority.


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State schools in the electorate of Northcote are exceptional places of learning, with innovative programs and results that are often above state average. However the outstanding work by staff and students is being done in increasingly sub-standard conditions, resulting from 30-plus years of neglect by successive state governments and a failure by them to adequately fund ongoing building plans for our schools.

Martin Hughes
Parent, Northcote High School

Alphington Primary School

Established in 1924 with approximately 200 students.

The school is set amidst residential streets in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne and is a vibrant focal point for the community it serves. The safe and aesthetically pleasing environment is made up of flexible learning spaces and child friendly play areas. The school is recognised for its strong academic achievement, focus on high quality teaching and community involvement. Values of integrity, respect, inclusiveness, curiosity and collaboration underpin the school’s commitment to encourage students to become confident and contributing citizens. Personalised learning programs cater for the diverse needs of students through differentiation and an Inquiry based approach. Classrooms are technology rich with interactive whiteboards, individual netbooks in the senior school and iPads in junior classes, fostering student engagement in learning.

Bell Primary School

Bell Primary School has a 90 year history and a proud school community. The school has experienced immense student growth over the past decade, leading to a student population of 529 in 2018. Further strong student growth in anticipated as forecasts indicate the West Preston local area will experience 100 per cent population growth over the next 23 years, to 2041.

In late 2017 our school received $2 million for a school master plan and to repair and improve the 90-year-old original school building. This represents 15 per cent of the $13 million costed for full development of the master plan.

Based on the Victorian School Building Authority’s standards our school has a deficit of 1,150 square metres of permanent floor space and was entitled to a hall / gymnasium at 450 student enrolments.

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Croxton Primary School

Caters for students aged 5 to 18 with specific learning needs.

Croxton Special School opened in 1957 and was the first school in Victoria to be built specifically for the education of children with learning difficulties. It was originally called the Leighton School. Nowadays the school is multi-campus, with educational sites located at many of the neighbouring primary and high schools. This model provides the best choices and pathways to meet the needs of our students, allowing families options in deciding the best educational setting for their child.

While $5million was allocated to the school in the current budget period and upgrades are currently occurring, there is much more to be done.

Fairfield Primary School

Fairfield Primary School is an inner suburban school located on a small, fixed site amongst residences in the suburb of Fairfield. The school celebrated 130 years of teaching and learning in 2015. Enrolment reached a ceiling of 500 students in 2017. The school places learning at the centre of everything, and its values of ‘Excellence, Respect, Curiosity, Community’ support its mantra of ‘every day, every child engaged in purposeful and powerful learning’. In 2017 the school received $2.5M dollars to upgrade facilities.

Building upgrades at Fairfield Primary are essential due to the increase in projected future enrolments, as a result of local areas being redeveloped (including the nearby Paper Mill redevelopment) and many more families moving into the suburb. The first phase of the school’s masterplan is currently underway, and will provide an Early Learning Resource Centre and library. Funding is required for future phases of the masterplan include building on the newly acquired Wingrove St site and redevelopment of the existing Foundation area.

Northcote High School

Established in 1926, Northcote High School is a large, vibrant and highly successful co-educational school - one of public education’s top performing non-selective schools. We are a progressive community school with long traditions of inclusivity and diversity, reflective of our local community. Highlights include a renowned music program, diverse sporting opportunities, vibrant performing and visual arts, excellent public speaking and debating programs and an award-winning international program which includes delivery of a VCE program off-shore.

However the school buildings don’t meet current or future needs. We currently have around 1,800 students and we enrol around 300 students each year, with the vast majority coming from the local area. Our school is one of the fastest growing in the state, on one of the smallest fixed sites. Since1999 there has been a 100% increase in student numbers but no increase in permanent buildings. By 2022 there will be well over 2000 students, a 20% increase in four years. Half our current students are accommodated in portables, only one in every five sport classes can be held in the gym, our school hall fits only one sixth of our student population, our library is in desperate need of an upgrade and our science facilities haven’t been updated since the 70’s. Our approved master plan needs to be fully funded, to match the excellent standard of education that we provide to our local community.

Northcote Primary School

In operation for 135 years and has over 300 students.

At our school we celebrate the individual. Our students are highly engaged. They are motivated and happy to be here. Every day our students show how much they care for each other – in both the classroom and the playground.

Northcote Primary School students come ready to learn and leave ready for the next adventure. They are encouraged and equipped to solve life’s challenges, which we know is a vital skill.

Given $3million at the last by-election for a new building, NPS has had to use a large part of that funding to fix dangerous and urgent building deficits. They have a masterplan for the full upgrade and modernisation of the school requiring funding on top of what they have already received.

Pender's Grove Primary School

Established in 1924 with approximately 200 students.

Pender’s Grove Primary School was established in 1924 and is located in the northern suburbs of Melbourne on the border of Thornbury and Preston. The school population, of approximately 200 students, represents a diverse range of socio-economic, cultural and language backgrounds. This diversity provides a unique learning environment for students and staff and reflects the wider community of the City of Darebin. We foster a safe, positive, supportive and equitable learning environment that respects the richness of our diverse community. We work with our students throughout their time at Pender’s to develop their understandings of our school values: Respect, Integrity, Curiosity & Determination.

Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their children's school experiences on both a formal and informal level.

Teachers at Pender’s Grove are friendly, dedicated, professional and are committed to continual improvement. Teams are effective and supportive and work towards cohesive teaching and learning outcomes. Classroom and specialist teachers, leadership and support staff all work together to create successful programs and to build an inquiring learning and teaching environment.

Preston South Primary School

At Preston South Primary School we have created a very safe, supportive learning environment where every young learner develops a sense of belonging and is inspired to shape his/her future, whilst learning and achieving within a safe, supportive community.

We believe that our greatest asset is our teachers. The teachers at PSPS employ effective instructional strategies and extra curricula activities with clear learning goals where all learning is student driven.

We pride ourselves on our progressive, friendly and relatively small school which has a very strong sense of community that encompasses 24 nationalities. Three languages other than English LOTE (Mandarin, Greek and Macedonian) are taught at our school.

PSPS is a registered and accredited school for International Students. We welcome families to enrol their children in a quality educational experience through a high level of support and care in a safe, welcoming and engaging learning environment.

Thornbury High School

Thornbury High School has passionate, committed and innovative staff, happily engaged students, and families who are thrilled with the high-quality education their kids are receiving. The school provides VCE and VCAL pathways for every child.

Thornbury High School has a rich and diverse social milieu including a significant number of indigenous students, a wide range of cultures, abilities and backgrounds, and a strong international program. The current school population is just over 1,000 comprising 896 families.

Built in the 1960s, Thornbury High School received no government funding for major infrastructure or redevelopment until October 2017. A welcome $5million granted by the State government will kick off but not entirely fund Stage one of the Department of Education’s mandated master plan. A further $25million is required to realise the master plan to provide the facilities and resources to teach a growing population of students and appropriately prepare them to be their best selves in the 21st century.

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Thornbury Primary School

Thornbury Primary School is a diverse and growing community. Offering both Mainstream and Steiner Education programs and a ground-breaking Indigenous Cultural program, TPS prides itself on warmly welcoming all families and children from the local community and beyond. Our arts and culture programs are unique to our school, with more than 80% of the student population learning a musical instrument.

However, our 100-year-old main school building is in desperate need of repair and our growing student population means we need more space. In addition, we have a vision to grow our music and arts programs so require a new purpose-built space for these classes and our Woiwurrung language and culture classes. Our bitumen-covered playground also desperately needs upgrading.

Wales Street Primary School

Wales Street Primary School is an internationally minded community school dedicated to lifelong learning and helping students to achieve their personal best. Current enrolment is 613 students, from increasingly affluent and well-educated backgrounds. WSPS is an authorised International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) school.

Built in the late 1800s, the school buildings are in need of urgent maintenance and repair. The community has been actively lobbying the state government for funds to improve the infrastructure and bring it up to 21st century standards.

Westgarth Primary School

Significant pressure on existing school infrastructure

  • Westgarth’s student population has increased 70% over the past 11 years, with 655 students enrolled in 2018, up from 386 in 2007.
  • More than 250 students are currently being taught in portable classrooms.
  • With one or two exceptions, school facilities have not been updated for 25 years.

Current facilities:

  • Do not support contemporary teaching and learning practices.
  • Are not adequate for the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

To address these challenges, Westgarth has developed a Masterplan that includes refurbishment of the existing school facilities to provide:

  • A full-size gymnasium.
  • An upgraded STEM area.
  • Contemporary teaching and learning spaces, including 6 new general learning spaces to replace some of the portable classrooms.
  • An expanded staff room that will accommodate all staff