Member for Morwell Russell Northe joined with Latrobe Special Developmental School (Latrobe SDS) Council President, Sam Varsaci and parents to call on the Andrews Labor Government to provide funding for a new school.
Mr Northe visited the school today as part of his mission to gain government funding to support Latrobe SDS acquire a new school.
“Latrobe SDS in Traralgon educates students with moderate to severe intellectual disability who reside in the Latrobe Valley,” Mr Northe said.
“The current buildings are not adequate for the students to easily access their school program and for the dedicated staff at the school to deliver a quality education for the students that attend the school.
“The only permanent building on the grounds was built in 1958 and contains a large amount of asbestos. Many of the fittings and furnishings are still the original equipment that was put in over 50 years ago.”
Mr Northe said this building was not designed as a school, and does not meet the standards required to deliver a quality education to some of our most vulnerable children.
“The additional buildings are all portables that have been in place since the 1980’s and have been added over the years to accommodate the increase in student numbers,” Mr Northe said. “These portables have not been purpose built and do not meet the educational needs of the students who attend the school.”
Mr Northe said the staff at Latrobe SDS work diligently to support students and feel that it is time that their students are given the same opportunities that other students are.
“A new school would make an enormous difference to students with special needs, their families and those who teach them,” Mr Northe said.
“Students and teachers at Latrobe SDS deserve a permanent home with access to capital funding and facilities to take them into the future.
“Many of the students have high needs and use specialised equipment and it is simply not good enough that they are subjected to these poor conditions.
“It is vital that students in a special school setting receive a quality education in a modern purpose built school and as a community we must not rest until funding is provided.”
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