Funding boost for Moe’s Baringa School

Moe’s Baringa School will open its doors to more students following a $3 million State Government funding boost.

At full capacity, the school has been given the much-needed funds as part of a state-wide investment into specialist education.

Principal Jenny O’Donnell said there was an increased need for the service in the Latrobe Valley, but the school could not cater to the demand.

“We have grown significantly over the last two years and we cannot take more students until we expand,” Ms O’Donnell said.

About 165 students are enrolled at the school which specialises in educating students with mild intellectual disabilities.

The money will go towards upgrading facilities and new classrooms.

“It’s very exciting, it gives us the chance to spruce a few buildings and expand a little,” Ms O’Donnell said.

One of two specialist schools in the Valley, Ms O’Donnell said the school provided an important alternative to mainstream education.

“It’s important families with special needs have a choice in education and we provide that choice,” she said.

“It’s important we have the best facilities possible.”

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said it was important specialist schools were provided with the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts.

“This is a school that is in high demand for kids that come from the Latrobe Valley and areas such as Willow Grove and Trafalgar,” Ms Shing said.

“This funding is about making sure we give every student access to the same opportunities to meet their potential.”

As part of the state budget seven regional Victoria specialist schools are set to receive upgrades, with grants also announced for Kalianna Special School and Warracknabeal Special School.

The four remaining schools to receive funding have not yet been announced.

The budget is due to be handed down on Wednesday.