Education to be transformed

February 16, 2018

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino (right) and State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed (left) with Orrvale Primary School's Year 6 captains Mia Elliott and Zaydan Leocata.

Four Goulburn Valley primary schools are set to transform after the unveiling of schematic designs for new and renovated buildings at their individual sites.

Orrvale, Kialla West, Bourchier St and Mooroopna Park primary schools received major Victorian Government funding with Orrvale delivered the highest amount — a $1.7million upgrade.

Visiting Orrvale yesterday, Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said it was exciting to see the architectural designs along with State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed.

‘‘It will transform all those schools that are involved and will be a real boost to the school community and great, modern teaching and learning spaces for our kids,’’ Mr Merlino said.

Orrvale’s $1.7million upgrade will have existing classrooms get a major facelift to modern standards, the renovation of the administration building and extensive refurbishment of the school’s library and STEM specialist centre, which also incorporates music and arts facilities.

Kialla West is set for a $955000 major upgrade and modernisation project, while Bourchier St has been allocated $1.4million to demolish damaged classrooms and replace them with new flexible learning spaces.

Mooroopna Park will have $361000 in works to upgrade two learning areas, as well as two classrooms.

‘‘It’s more than bricks and mortar. We’re going to build something incredibly exciting that’ll be up there with the best in the state,’’ Mr Merlino said.

The investment comes after the Shepparton Education Plan, which Mr Merlino touched on during his visit.

Having endorsed the plan’s recommendation to merge Shepparton and Mooroopna’s four public secondary schools into one large super school, Mr Merlino said this was set to improve the breadth of subjects offered to VCE students.

‘‘There are lots of wonderful things happening at all of our schools across this community, but there are also lots of challenges — it’s below the state average in reading and numeracy,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s lots of great work, but there’s a lot more we can do.

‘‘One example of that is the provision of VCE subjects.’’

Mr Merlino said, in total, there were about 90 VCE subjects, but the most any of the four public secondary schools in Shepparton and Mooroopna had been able to offer was 51.

‘‘We’ve got to do better for our kids,’’ he said.

Ms Sheed said it was an incredibly exciting time for education in Shepparton.

‘‘I’ve met with the principals over the last three years and talked to them about their needs and it’s so gratifying to see the investment coming to Shepparton and also more work on the Shepparton Education Plan,’’ she said.

Ms Sheed said the ability to offer a greater breadth of subjects meant better access for children as well as improving the connections to employment.

‘‘One of the things that has been identified for quite a while is the mismatch in relation to the education young people are receiving and the jobs that exist in our area,’’ she said.

‘‘When you’ve got that breadth of subjects, you’re preparing young people to do all the things that they need to prepare them for the work force.’’

The new super secondary school is the first stage of the Shepparton Education Plan, where Shepparton High School, McGuire College, Mooroopna Secondary College and Wanganui Park Secondary College will merge together.

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