EDITORIAL: THERE may be light at the end of the tunnel for the Warrnambool Special Developmental School at last.
The school, which caters for the education and development needs of some of our community’s most vulnerable, is in urgent need of relocation perched as it is on a wholly unsuitable sloping site at its present location in Hyland Street, Warrnambool.
It is also becoming overcrowded. And although that is not yet interfering with the wonderful programs on offer at the school, it makes things more difficult for teachers and alike.
On Wednesday, Labor announced that if it won government in November’s state election it would find a new home for the school and committed $5 million for the first stage of the project, including the purchase of a new site.
The announcement is likely to put pressure on the Liberal government to do the same if it is elected, although there has not been much movement from that side of politics with regard to the school’s needs since it has been in power.
Labor has made the commitment, the Liberals must to the same.
It does not matter which party emerges victorious when the dust has settled in November, this school must be a priority.
School council president Ken Gale said about 120 students were expected to enrol next year.
That might not sound like a lot, but it is massive when you consider that when the school first opened in 1989 it had just 13 students.
Band-Aid solutions along the way as the school has grown year on year haven’t really helped.
The latest, provision of portable classrooms, has verged on farce with the building turning up unannounced and being attached in an ad hoc fashion to the existing premises.
The students, parents and teachers of this school community deserve better.
Good on Labor for committing, but they have to be elected first and there’s no guarantee of that.
The school sits firmly in Premier Denis Napthine’s electorate so we would like to know what his party will do if they win.
As would the long suffering Warrnambool Special Developmental School, no doubt.