6 June, 2018
My adjournment matter tonight is directed to the Minister for Education and is in relation to Beverley Hills Primary School and their need for urgent funding. Beverley Hills Primary School is one of the many wonderful schools in the Warrandyte electorate, and they will be celebrating 60 years of education next year. Unfortunately the school is falling apart around them. On a recent visit to the school, it was plainly evident to me that Beverley Hills Primary School is in desperate need of major investment.
Doncaster East has seen a rapid growth in young families in recent years, putting increased pressure on local schools, which is in large part due to the densification in Manningham more broadly. Five months into this year and Beverley Hills Primary School has seen an increase of 16 students in grade 1, and over a six-year period the school has seen its student population triple. This increase in demand is testament to the school and the fantastic results that the teachers and school leadership are achieving with their students. However, because of this growth, the school has been forced to utilise extraordinary teaching spaces, which include, but are not limited to, the staffroom, the principal's office, hallways and the canteen foyer. Like the school referred to by the member for Forest Hill, this school also has issues with even storerooms having been converted into learning spaces.
Beverley Hills Primary School has funded, through its school council, the purchase and installation of its own portable classroom for English as an additional language and dialect lessons because of the Department of Education and Training's refusal to provide additional classrooms.
The existing buildings are riddled with asbestos, they leak, there has been insufficient electrical work and there is rusting piping in the toilets, rotting windows and basic structural damage. Of the 16 drinking fountains in the school, only six work — only six. Two separate school assemblies are required as there is no space to have the whole school meet if parents are invited to see their children accept awards. This is despite the school's entitlement, based on student numbers, to a 600-plus-square-metre multipurpose space. The school's current space is a mere third of this size. The school has also been subjected to mindless vandalism, with two incidents inside a week, with bottles being broken on playing spaces, including in the sandpit, and windows being shattered. There is no ability to install CCTV to make sure that vandals are caught.
If this minister is actually committed to creating the Education State, he needs to invest in schools like Beverley Hills Primary School. My request of the minister is: will he immediately commit to supporting Beverley Hills Primary School and provide the funds that are so desperately needed for a significant rebuild?