Push for facilities for range of needs
Calls for a special needs education facility at schools in Baldivis have been made by parents, with Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby leading the push for facilities that cater to a range of needs.
At an education forum held last month, parents signalled the need for at least one facility, with growing student numbers highlighting the demand for more local services.
Mr Whitby said historically, most of the facilities for students with special needs were in Rockingham and longer-established suburbs, and that many parents had to transport their children to these schools, but that it could be difficult if parents worked or, in some cases, had a disability themselves.
“Settlers Primary and Baldivis Secondary College are designated to include specialist autism programs, but the need extends to other areas of special needs,” he said.
“With Baldivis’ school-age population increasing and with new schools opening virtually every year, there is a strong case to be made for special needs education to be located in Baldivis.
“This could include a facility being established alongside an existing or new school, or a new standalone facility.”
A Department of Education spokeswoman said students with a disability were offered a place in an education support program that was as close as possible to their home, but none of these were in Baldivis.
At the moment, students are provided with transport to and from school.
Mr Whitby said following the forum, he held discussions with a senior Education Department planning official and raised the need for more special needs facilities in Baldivis.
“I have made sure that the Education Department is aware of the growing need in Baldivis to ensure that Baldivis is included in all future planning for special needs education,” he said.
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