Education blow for Kyneton

KYNETON Secondary College's junior complex has suffered a blow, following the Department of Education's decision to remove half of its classrooms.

This will see a significant impact on the college's successful transitional program and could reduce already waning enrolments, according to Kyneton Secondary College council president Alan Todd. 

He says the relocatable classrooms had been permanently installed by the then Minister of Education Joan Kirner in 1989 and were never expected to be removed. 

But the department will come and collect the portables next week, after Minister for Education Martin Dixon failed to intervene despite a community petition calling for a reversal of the decision. 

"What it means is that we'll start the term this year without the ability to deliver our important junior year's program to our best ability," Mr Todd said. 

"This transitional program, which has been running for 25 years, is the cornerstone for what we offer at the school."

The portables will be used in rapid growth areas, however Mr Todd said "it wouldn't help anyone". 

"While I understand the growing demand in Victoria, these schools will end up with old portables and we're left with half of our integral program."

He said it was a bureaucratic error that the classrooms remained on the portable register, as they were always expected to remain.

"We have spent $100,000 to upgrade these classrooms with the blessing and funding support from the government," Mr Todd said. 

"They were carpeted, integrated and roofed - and there is even a plaque out the front with Ms Kirner's name and endorsement. You don't put a plaque outside portable buildings - the fact is, they're no more portable than my house."

Mr Todd said he was disappointed Minister Dixon had not stepped in to help. 

Kyneton parent Lisa Ohlmus said it was foolish to trash a program that was tailored for the region, saying there were "paddocks of unused portables in Kyneton already". 

A spokesperson for the department said that despite the removal of two portables, the college would still have 11 classrooms more than required to meet projected enrolments this year.

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