Queensland schools should be limited to student populations of 600 to 1000 people says one education lecturer, with fears of super-sized Queensland schools on the horizon.

School sizes are set to be a key issue for Queensland’s policy-makers, with some schools experiencing staggering growth, and a raft of year-7’s about to be upgraded. Queensland University of Technology education lecturer Dr Kathy Mills says there are benefits to larger schools, such as expanding the amount of subjects on offer, but overpopulation brings truancy and discipline problems too. She recommends numbers around 600 to 1000 students per school for the best of both worlds.

Varsity College is currently the state’s largest school with 2753 students in attendance. Cairns’ Meridan High School is bulging at the seams, with a student body nearly doubling from 1267 to 2176 this year.

QTU President Kevin Bates says policy discussion had rightly focused on class sizes, but it was now time to add school sizes to the agenda.

“When you're looking at schools like Varsity College, and lifting BSHS to 3000 to 3500 students does create pressures of its own that need to be properly addressed,” Mr Bates said, “what sort of conditions are teachers working under? What sort of environment does it create for students? These are important questions to ask.”