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Special focus on desperately needed schooling

Daniel Bouwmeester    September 28, 2022    3 min read   

A new special school is in the pipeline for the Greater Springfield region, according to the Queensland Government, a reprieve for families with severely limited options.

Last month, Jordan MP Charis Mullen said the new special state school was on the way, and was a much-needed addition to the region’s education network.

“During the 2020 State Election, our Government made a commitment to begin the planning for a new special school in Greater Springfield,” Ms Mullen said.

“This recognises that there is significant need and a request from local families for a new special school, as our closest accessible special schools – located in Goodna and Western Suburbs (Durack) – are seeing significant growth.”

Goodna State Special School is the closest special school to Greater Springfield residents. Image: KO&Co Architecture.

Ms Mullen shared early details of the plans at a community meeting on Monday, September 5, acknowledging the impressive personal improvements made by students who have a more appropriate educational environment.

The Department of Education is now looking for a suitable building site, with a timeframe for opening unclear.

Following a 2017 independent review, the department will also improve the way it allocates resources to schools with students who have a disability.

The state government has earmarked $80.6 million in its latest budget to support transitioning to this revised model.

“All disabilities will be recognised under the new model, including those which did not receive targeted resourcing under the previous model – such as dyslexia, foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and mental health conditions.”

“A higher level of resourcing will also be provided to Prep students to ensure they receive the support they need from day one of their schooling journey.”

“The department is aware that some parents find it difficult to get a medical diagnosis for their child. Under the new model, schools will be able to assess the needs of a student and receive resources if they, in consultation with parents, reasonably believe a student has a disability.”

“We will transition to the new model over the next two years… and by 2025, all state and special schools will be resourced equitably, based on student needs.”

Beyond special schooling, there are currently two new primary schools and a new senior campus in development in Greater Springfield – a much-needed expansion of student capacity across the region.

“[It’s part of our] ongoing commitment to building new schools in Queensland’s fastest growing communities,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

The soonest to open is the New Primary School in Augustine Heights, located at 12 Purser Road, south-west of Woogaroo Creek. Teaching is scheduled to commence in Term 1, next year, to students in Prep to Year 6.

A new state school is also being planned for the growing area of Bellbird Park, and will open for Prep to Year 6 for Term 1, 2024, alongside a brand new campus at Springfield Central State High School, for an increased capacity of Years 10 to 12 students.

\”We want all young Queenslanders to have a world-class education in world-class facilities,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

For more information about planned schools in Greater Springfield, visit the Department of Education website at qed.qld.gov.au/programs-initiatives/department/building-education.
For more information about Goodna State Special School, visit goodnaspecs.eq.edu.au.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.