A FEW years ago, you could have counted the number of students at Errowanbang Public School on your hands.
Now the rural school is booming, with enrolments almost tripling to 34 students in the last two years.
The higher numbers have secured for the school two teachers for two separate classes.
All this growth has been a direct result of Errowanbang’s successful Rent-A-Farmhouse Scheme.
This month marks the scheme’s two-year anniversary, giving the community a chance to reflect on how successfully it has met its goal in boosting the school.
‘We are really pleased with how it’s going,” Errowanbang Rent-A-Farmhouse Scheme chairperson Gemma Green said.
“It’s a good example of how a community can take advantage of major corporations on their doorstep.
“A couple of years ago in 2009 we had just 13 children at the school.”
Rent-A-Farmhouse involves renting out eight houses, six owned by Newcrest and two private, for $100 to $200.
Families with primary school-aged children and adults that can contribute to the local community such as Cadia Valley Operations employees are the main targets for the scheme.
The Rent-A-Farmhouse goal, which is to lure more students to the school, has exceeded the committee’s expectations in just 24 months, with the children continuing to benefit.
“Overall it has just been fantastic socialising for the kids,” Mrs Green said.
“People are coming from all walks of life.”
“Academically, the school was going great when they had one K-6 class, but now it has just moved up again now they have been able to divide the age groups into two classes.”
For the children, the higher numbers bring more simple pleasures such as being able to form two full soccer teams during sport and being able to make more friends.
Next year is looking even brighter for Errowanbang Public School.
The school anticipates it will have a 35 enrolments and the first ever bus run will kick off in January- the first in the school’s 56-year history.
This comes as a relief for parents, some who travel about 200 kilometres a week to take their children to and from school.
The Rent-A -Farmhouse scheme is expected to continue developing, with more houses taking part next year.