Southern Autistic School - Bentleigh (22.8.2017)
Written on the 1 September 201722 August 2017
GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)
My adjournment matter this evening is to the Minister for Education. I recently visited Southern Autistic School in Bentleigh East and saw firsthand the excellent work of teachers and staff, who provide educational opportunities for students with autism and support to their parents and carers. The school services South Eastern Metropolitan Region, but we know that there is an increasing need to provide further services and support to so many families, and I am sure Mr Finn, who is the shadow parliamentary secretary for autism and who is doing an excellent job, knows only too well of the issues that are surrounding this very difficult area for so many families and understands the needs of a facility such as this.One of the issues raised with me was the increasing demand for the facility and for children with autism or dual diagnoses to be able to attend Southern Autistic School. Some are coming from areas a considerable distance away. Of course with that demand comes the additional problem of overcrowding. The overcrowding and the demand for children wanting to attend Southern Autistic School has also been raised with me by parents of students who attend Bentleigh Secondary College, which shares a boundary with Southern Autistic School. They too are well aware of the increasing demands and enjoy having Southern Autistic School as such a close and important neighbour.
Acknowledging that both schools are providing excellent services to students, there appears to be no medium to long-term plans for accommodating both schools and the excellent education and services they provide to students and their families. The action I therefore seek is for the minister to provide any advice he has received regarding the relinquishing of any land from the Bentleigh Secondary College site to accommodate future expansion for the longer term needs of Southern Autistic School.