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Labor Leader Mark McGowan has pledged to turn around declining enrolment numbers at South Fremantle Senior High School by making it a specialist science school.

Pledging $3 million for a new “Future Science Centre” and upgrade of existing science facilities, Mr McGowan also promised to accredit SFSHS as one of the State’s ‘gifted and talented’ schools.

“We have seen in the last few years a drop off in the number of students studying science at a senior level, declines in the number of students undertaking physics and chemistry, biology and human biology,” Mr McGowan said.

“I want to turn that around.”

SFSHS is widely regarded as currently having a predominantly vocational, rather than academic, focus, contributing to declining student enrolments.

Mr McGowan said he wanted to reverse the trend.

Parents’ lobby group High School Options for Fremantle welcomed the Labor plans for SFSHS but said nearby John Curtin College of the Arts, a specialist arts school, should be available to local children as well.

HSOF convenor, Traci Gamblin said the Labor announcement proved high school education was a core election issue in the Fremantle electorate.

“The community is calling for a two-pronged approach, which must also see more local intake places made available at John Curtin in the short-term,” she said.

“There is a dire need for support for both John Curtin and South Fremantle.”