I raise a matter for the Minister for Education. The action I seek is that the minister or his department provide me with a briefing and an update, including a detailed time line, for the Sandringham Primary School rebuild.
It was just under seven months ago that fire engulfed a significant part of some of the oldest buildings of the school, a school that has served our community continuously for 165 years.
In that time a temporary ‘school village’ has been established on the grounds of Sandringham College. I thank college principal Amy Porter and her school community for their generosity and community-mindedness in facilitating this relocation. I thank Sandringham Primary School principal Louise Neave and her staff also for doing everything they can to facilitate a smooth transition for their school community.
It is difficult enough for students to effectively learn in portable classrooms with make-do facilities; imagine how much more difficult it is for the teaching staff of Sandringham Primary School to effectively co-ordinate a learn-from-home program from scratch when they are operating without the fully-fledged systems and facilities available to other Victorian schools.
I know that Louise Neave and her dedicated staff are committed to doing the right thing by the students, parents and broader community of Sandy Primary. In these circumstances they have built up systems, processes and routines that offer their students every opportunity to learn and grow.
The reason I am seeking further detailed information is so our community is clear about the pathway ahead for rebuild.
I do have a concern that COVID-19 will become a reason for allowing a temporary solution to become a longer term fix. And I’m seeking an assurance from the Minister for Education that this will not be the case.
This isn’t just for the benefit of Sandy Primary, it’s also for the sake of the Sandringham College community, and nearby residents who are now faced with a significant and indefinite increase in local traffic congestion at drop-off and pick-up times once schools re-open in full.
In short, what I am seeking is certainty for our community. I want to know what are the next steps, and when can my community expect them to be taken?