My constituency question is to the Minister for Education. I welcome the government undertaking a review of the needs of Portland Bay School, a school for children with special needs, which I am advised was built for approximately 10 students, yet it has 44 enrollments this year.
I note the recommendation for the new and larger facility to be constructed on the grounds of Portland Primary School. On behalf of local parents I ask: when will the funding be provided to implement this recommendation from the government review in order to provide viable learning facilities for children with special needs in the Portland region?
Answer from The Hon. James Merlino, Minister for Education
The Andrews Labor Government is committed to investing in school facilities and has allocated $730 million in the 2015-16 State Budget to build, upgrade and maintain schools across the state.
I have visited Portland Bay School and have seen first hand the difficulties the school is facing. I instructed the Department of Education and Training to undertake a feasibility study to identify suitable long-term solutions for the school, including options to rebuild or relocate.
The feasibility study recommended that Portland Bay School co-locate with Portland Bay Primary School. The Department is undertaking community consultation to ensure that all issues and views are considered. This is a crucial part in the process to deliver the best result for the school and the community. Funding for the Portland Bay School will be considered in future state budgets.