Parents and staff at Latrobe Special Developmental School tired of working out of portable and run-down classrooms are calling on the State Government to provide new buildings.
Classes at the almost
On Friday, parents and staff gave The Express a tour of the site to highlight access problems experienced by the school’s 75 students.
They are forced to use a non-disabled toilet in one building and narrow access ramps and building entrances make it difficult for students with wheelchairs to turn around.
Some classrooms are accessed by an uneven wooden decking.
Parent and school council president Sam
“The school’s past its use-by date, it’s not fit for purpose,” he said.
“It doesn’t provide the facilities that are required to give these kids the best opportunity in life.”
He said many issues were related to the age of the classrooms but he wanted to see a plan in place to help deal with the problem.
“You have tight turning circles, you have narrow doorways – that accessibility is in a difficult range for a lot of these kids and for the teachers,”
“We need something that provides easy accessibility to everywhere rather than having ramps that go up and down different levels.
“At the moment the teachers and staff do a fantastic job; they do what they can with what they have and they could do so much more with better facilities.”
Latrobe Special Developmental School caters for students up to 18 years of age with intellectual and associated disabilities.
Member for Morwell Russell Northe, who was part of the tour, said either a “massive redevelopment” or new school was required.
“(Parents) firmly believe, and I firmly believe, it will increase the social skills and educational outcomes for the students by having better facilities,”
But Education Department spokesperson Steve Tolley said the State Government had invested a record $1.8 billion in the previous two budgets to build, upgrade and maintain schools across Victoria.
“Latrobe Special Developmental School is one of 1500 Victorian government schools whose needs will be considered when making decisions on school infrastructure funding as part of future budget deliberations,” he said.