Community Demands fit-for-purpose Latrobe Special Developmental School

More than 2,700 concerned Latrobe Valley residents have signed a petition calling on the Andrews Labor Government to allocate funding for a major overhaul of the Latrobe Special Developmental School in the 2018/19 State Budget.

Nationals Member for Eastern Victorian and Shadow Assistant Minister for Education Melina Bath tabled the petition in Parliament today, as parents and students watched from the public gallery.

Ms Bath the petition was started to highlight unacceptable conditions of the classrooms, about 80 per cent of which exhibited asbestos warnings

“The staff’s commitment to student education is amazing but the list of facility problems is long,” Ms Bath said.

“Archaic and cramped toilets, portable classrooms where water pours down the inside walls when it rains, and third world teaching conditions depict the environment that students and staff have to endure.

“The new allied health unit is located in a former storeroom and cupboard – these buildings are not fit for purpose”.

School Councillor and parent Leesa Lawrence is frustrated for the students.

Ms Lawrence said it was critical the school received funding in the 2018/19 State Budget.

“Regularly the school is assessed as ‘safe and adequate’ by the Department of Education – our pleas are being ignored,” Ms Lawrence said.

“The staff, and especially the students, deserve so much more.

“This school was not built for students with disabilities and it is at capacity.  Would you send your precious child into this appalling environment?  Sadly, I do”.