Build a special school for the developing communities of Rockbank and Aintree.
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I am a mother of three boys aged 8,4 and 2 years living in Rockbank since 2009. My two oldest boys are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and global developmental delay, my youngest is also delayed in speech and gross motor function and is currently awaiting assessment.
My oldest son is currently at an autism specific school 30 kilometres away and my middle child is in kindergarten with full time assistance from an integration aide.
My oldest must move to a new school in 2019 as his current school is for students up to grade 3. He has severe communication difficulties using few words selectively due to anxiety and poor social skills. He has made significant gains since starting school but would not cope in mainstream school.
Our closest special school is Melton Specialist School which is oversubscribed.
We live in the rapidly growing municipality of Melton where several new suburbs were recently designated and there are currently more than 15 new estates under construction. 43 babies are born in Melton each week. There will obviously continue to be an increase in the numbers of school aged children in years to come and it follows that a proportion of those will have additional educational needs. This will lead to increased pressure on our already overstretched local schools.
New schools are planned for the area however, none is a specialist school. At a recent public meeting I attended, I put forward that these new schools should have "base rooms" where students with special needs can go to receive additional support in areas of the curriculum they require it (for example, literacy and numeracy) and be integrated into class with their peers where appropriate.
A new primary school is planned for Rockbank and a recent conversation gave me the idea that the current Rockbank primary school could be turned into a special school, it has provision for around 100 students.
this would take some pressure off the surrounding specialist schools and alleviate the stress of many local parents who are desperate to find an appropriate school for their child.
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