By Colin MacGillivray
A NEW special school in Craigeburn could help cater for children with disabilities living in Mitchell Shire when it opens in 2023.
Earlier this month state Member for Euroke Ros Spence announced a new special school under the working title of Mount Ridley Special School would be located adjacent to Mount Ridley P-12 College in Craigeburn.
Concept art and a school layout were posted on Ms Spence’s Facebook page.
A government spokesperson said the school could give families of children with disabilities living in the southern parts of Mitchell Shire another option for their children’s education.
The spokesperson said special schools had specific enrolment criteria to determine students’ eligibility, and the enrolment criteria for the Mount Ridley Special School would be available later this year.
Most specialist schools for students with a disability have designated transport areas, DTAs, within which families can get help transporting their child to and from school.
DTAs do not serve as enrolment zones but can be used to assign a priority order of placement where prospective enrolments exceed a school’s capacity.
Mount Ridley Special School is expected to have places for 144 students.
The government spokesperson said the DTA for Mount Ridley Special School was still being determined.
She said students in Beveridge and Wallan were currently in the DTA of special schools in Broadmeadows and Hume Valley, while Kilmore students were in the DTA of Seymour college.
“Every student has the right to attend their designated neighbourhood government school,” she said.
“Prospective students with disabilities have the right to enrol in an educational institution on the same basis as prospective students without disabilities, including the right to reasonable adjustments that are necessary to ensure they are able to so enrol on the same basis as prospective students without disabilities.
“Victoria’s specialist schools provide an important option for families of children with disabilities – offering specialised education programs and support to ensure every student, wherever they go to school, gets the individual attention they deserve.”
Prospective families can check www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/mount-ridley-special-school-interim-name during the year for updates on enrolment criteria for Mount Ridley Special School.
People can also use www.findmyschool.vic.gov.au to search for schools in their area.