September 8, 2016  |  

Adjournment – Keilor Heights Primary School

Mr CARROLL (Niddrie) — (9200) I raise a matter for the attention of the Deputy Premier, who is also the Minister for Education. The action I seek is that the minister join me on a tour of Keilor Heights Primary School to see for himself the strong learning outcomes being delivered for students and to reaffirm the Andrews government’s fundamental commitment to making Victoria the education state. Keilor Heights primary will soon be celebrating its 53rd anniversary, having been a solid pillar of the local community throughout the decades. The school is situated within the heart of my electorate of Niddrie and has over 480 students enrolled, a number which is predicted to continue to increase. The school also boasts great diversity, with families hailing from 26 language backgrounds other than English.

As the education minister well knows, a key measure of social disadvantage across educational institutions is the student family occupation (SFO) index, with 0 being least disadvantaged and 1 being the most. The SFO index is used for identifying where resources can be targeted towards schools to empower students that may otherwise struggle. Keilor Heights primary is rated as 0.47 and has been steadily increasing over recent years. In addition, the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund is being accessed by 25 per cent of families at the school for financial support. Only a Labor government can deliver the investment in our public education system that ensures all students have the same opportunities for a quality education regardless of background, postcode or family income.

I was very pleased to address a school assembly recently, where I presented school captains Maddie and Zheng with a new Australian flag. I was also pleased to join Lisa Webster from the parents and friends association as well as principal Ann Turner‑Calleri on a visit to the school where I met staff and students and inspected the oval and grounds. It was very clear that the oval and grounds do need more investment. To this end, Keilor Heights primary are go‑getters and are going to make their spring fair on 23 October a winner, which I am looking forward to being a part of. All funds raised at this great local event will be going towards the upgrades that the school desperately needs. I want to commend the hard work of the principal and Lisa Webster, Suzie McManus, Jodie Fry, Cathy Craggs, Mel Pizzinga and Mel Rutley from the spring fair committee in doing what they can to make sure that this community event is a real success.

I thank the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education. Since my election in 2012 he has visited many schools around my electorate. The 2016–17 state budget includes a record $1.1 billion to invest in new, run‑down and specialist schools across Victoria. This builds on the $730 million commitment to Victorians in the 2015–16 budget, where one of the most run‑down schools in the state, Essendon Keilor College, received a whopping $10 million to rebuild and to implement its master plan.