Member for Shepparton District, Kim O’Keeffe, has called on Education Minister Natalie Hutchins to meet with local schools to discuss the issues they face.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Ms O’Keeffe asked the Education Minister to meet with staff from Greater Shepparton Secondary College and Notre Dame College, as well as education stakeholders in the region to address issues around student safety and staffing levels.
“The amalgamation of Shepparton and Mooroopna’s four state schools into one site has produced a number of new challenges for teachers, students and families in the Goulburn Valley,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
“These issues have escalated in the past months including the unmanageable task at the school bus interchange located at Skene Street, next to Notre Dame College.
“The over-populated bus interchange is used by students from schools across the region and has become a location for students – and non-students – to gather and cause trouble.
“There has been an escalation of ongoing violence and instances where some students have been seriously injured.
“Students, teachers and staff are feeling unsafe. Families of the students have concerns for their children’s safety with many trying to make alternative travel arrangements.
“Schools have been trying to manage the circumstances, but it is now beyond their capacity.”
In her adjournment, Ms O’Keeffe also spoke about community concerns for teachers at Greater Shepparton Secondary College.
“In addition to these issues, student teachers undertaking placements at GSSC are not being adequately supported and are experiencing a volatile teaching environment,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
“There have been concerns around some student teachers on placements at GSSC leaving the industry altogether after their placement at the school.
“I have asked the minister as a matter of urgency to come to Shepparton and address these issues our schools are experiencing, for our students, teachers and school communities.”