Residential growth in the areas of Epping and Wollert means there is significant demand for more schools.
To prevent the overcrowding that we are experiencing in many schools in our north-eastern growth corridor, we urgently need timely delivery of primary and secondary schools in these areas.
We actively advocate for more school land and infrastructure, and it was great to receive the news that the 2018/19 Victorian State Budget funded the following projects in the City of Whittlesea:
- $5.3 million for Yarrambat Park Primary School. The 2017/18 State Budget previously funded $13.8 million towards Stage 1 construction of Yarrambat Park Proposed P-6
- $3.8 million for Lalor Gardens Primary School upgrades
- $3 million for Epping Secondary College upgrades
- $271.72 million towards a state-wide Land Acquisition Program, which includes the following school sites:
- Wollert Central P6
- Wollert East 7-12
- Wollert East P6
These are significant investments that secure critical upgrades and land to ensure our young people receive the education infrastructure they need. While these developments are very pleasing, there are a number of investments still needed to prevent overcrowding.
- Construct the Edgars Creek P6 and be operational by 2020. Population data indicates this school was required to be opened in 2016.
- Fund Stage 2 and 3 of Edgars Creek Secondary College to open in 2020
- Purchase the land and stage construction of Wollert East P-12 including an integrated P-12 Special School:
- The P-12 Special School (equivalent to Concord School, Bundoora) is required as soon as possible
- The P-6 is required by 2019 and the 7-12 is required by 2024 according to population data
- Purchase the land and construct Wollert West P-6 with the school open by 2022
- Fund the purchase of land and construction of Wollert Central P6 with the school operational by 2024.
Access to specialist schools
At the 2016 Census there were 1093 Whittlesea residents aged between 5 and 19 needing assistance due to disability. Currently, Whittlesea students requiring specialist education face unacceptable barriers to accessing appropriate schools including limited access to school buses, long travel times and minimal access to before or after school care. These barriers impact the wellbeing and learning outcomes of the child and the wellbeing and employment opportunities of their families.
Specialist schools designated to Whittlesea residents are at capacity and difficult to access:
- Northern School for Autism is the only school available to City of Whittlesea residents living with autism. Expected 2019 enrolments for this school will exceed its capacity and may leave families unable to enrol their child.
- With Concord School located outside the southern boundary of the municipality, families from the outer north are spending hours in traffic to get to and from this school.