In Parliament

Adjournment - Gardenvale Primary School


Tuesday, 28 May 2019.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (19:06):

My adjournment matter is to the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is for the minister to commit funding to Gardenvale Primary School.

Gardenvale Primary School is a special school that is uniquely set across two campuses in the same Brighton East Street. The school will soon celebrate their 100-year anniversary, having opened in 1922. A key feature behind the school’s longstanding success has been the ongoing commitment of families to the school community.

A positive ethos is a hallmark of Gardenvale Primary School. That ethos can be seen across everything the school does and the way the children interact with each other and the wider community.

You can also see that ethos in the school mascot. The school has developed a mascot called HERRRBY based on the values of honesty, empathy, respect, resilience, responsibility and being yourself.

The one piece of the puzzle that it missing for Gardenvale Primary School is government investment that backs the school and ensures that it is ready for the future. This historic school is deserving of investment. Their needs are worthy.

Despite being such a close-knit school, they are unable to meet together unless they assemble in the schoolyard. It means that the school often cannot meet during summer heat or winter rain. The school would dearly like to have a covered meeting space. To that end they have a plan to install a permanent shade structure in the yard.

Additionally, the school has a proud tradition in the creative arts. One of the difficulties for students with the current art facilities is that the art room is on the third floor of the school and only accessible via a single small set of stairs. Not only is accessibility a concern for students with physical challenges, but the lack of easy access would also be of concern should the school require urgent evacuation.

To enhance their art program the school has proposed turning an external ground floor building into an art space. Such a conversion would be of reasonable cost but overwhelming benefit.

Finally, under current policy the school is provided minimal funding for its administration of the two campuses because the campuses are in the same street.  Despite their proximity, the administrative costs of running the school would be the same as if the campuses were miles apart. Administrative funding recognising this challenge would be welcomed.

Gardenvale  Primary  School, led by principal Janine  Hall and assistant principal  Julie  Pitts, is an integral part of my community, and I look forward to the minister’s response.