A western suburbs lobby group pushing for a new secondary college says the government used ''underestimated'' figures to reject the proposed school.
The Education Department wrote to the Seddon Kingsville Yarraville High group in February, saying anticipated secondary-age enrolments would not exceed the capacity of local schools.
In the letter department deputy secretary Nicholas Pole thanked the group for its ''professional approach'' but said he could not recommend another secondary school. ''However, the department acknowledges that demographic trends can potentially shift quickly and for this reason will continue to monitor provision in this area,'' he wrote.
A government spokesman said demand for a secondary school had fallen slightly and a review of its figures found they were appropriate.
But SKY High lobby group president Janine Lloyd said the department had underestimated the need for another school in Melbourne's inner west. ''Our numbers show that the school would be sustainable,'' she said.
A spokesman for Education Minister Martin Dixon said Maribyrnong Secondary College and Williamstown High School were experiencing enrolment pressures but Footscray City and Bayside P-12 colleges had sufficient capacity to ensure all students could be enrolled.