ADJOURNMENT – Clayton South Primary School: redevelopment – Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Posted on 27. Jun, 2011 in Speeches

Mr LIM (Clayton) — The issue I raise is for the attention of the Minister for Education. The action I seek is for the minister to commit to the redevelopment of Clayton South Primary School as a matter of priority to enable the school and the school community to move forward with certainty. The previous Labor government’s Victorian schools plan and Building Futures program would have seen every public school rebuilt or modernised by the end of 2016. The Victorian schools plan was not just about rebuilding public schools; it was about the regeneration of education and the provision of a renewed focus for parents to be part of their school community. The rebuilding of public schools was about the transformation of current learning spaces into flexible learning areas and activity zones. The rebuilding was about transforming teaching and providing personalised learning pathways for students. In 2008 the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development completed a comprehensive report on stage 2 of the Building Futures program on education facilities in the region, which report included Clayton South Primary School.
Clayton South Primary School is a school with a diverse mix of students with over 25 different nationalities. Many students come from very disadvantaged backgrounds. In terms of current facilities, I invite the minister to inspect the school with me. To say it is dilapidated is an understatement. The buildings are of a light timber construction and they date back 50 or 60 years. The art room was built in the 1930s. In the report Clayton South Primary School was clearly assessed as meeting every educational criterion for rebuilding.
The appraisal of the rebuilding plans continued during 2009 and 2010, and considerable moneys have been spent on having detailed plans drawn up and the project costed. The school is now up to tender stage. However, no funds were allocated in the May state budget and no information has been forthcoming to the school on when or if the redevelopment will go ahead. This is a slap in the face for the local community, and reading the budget papers confirms that the Premier and the Minister for Education have decided to fund school projects on the basis of politics rather than on demonstrated need.
I am extremely concerned that these plans will be abandoned and that moneys spent to date will go to waste. The school community is very apprehensive and concerned. Children who attend this school deserve improved facilities, and they require a decision to be made right now. The project has been properly assessed; all the hard work has been done. I entreat the minister to commit to funding the redevelopment of Clayton South Primary School and to direct his department to issue the tender forthwith.

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