Bendigo school given big funding boost

THE state government is giving Quarry Hill Primary School $1.9 million to upgrade its facilities.

Premier Denis Napthine and Education Minister Martin Dixon made the announcement on the school grounds yesterday afternoon after visiting other schools in the area, including Kyneton secondary and primary schools.

Dr Napthine said Quarry Hill was a growing area and he expected the school's student population would continue to grow in the next few years.

He said it was entirely up the school to decide how the money would be spent.

"We're very committed to having local decision-making," he said.

"A number of schools have expertise in their broader school community that can get great value for money and help individualise the schools." 

He said the school, which has 331 students, had many older facilities, many of which were in need of an upgrade.

"Quarry Hill Primary School will use the funding to construct semi-indoor areas as well as upgrade, expand and improve outdoor education and sporting facilities," he said.

He said the school had an "excellent" record.

School principal Andrew Schaeche said he was shocked by the announcement, which he said came as a complete surprise.

"I didn't know it was coming ... I had no background on what it was about," he said..

But he said he was thrilled by the decision.

"The Premier indicated that Bendigo was a growth area ... we're on a restricted block and need to look at other options to grow as a school."

He said the school had a lot of portable classrooms, which "look a bit sad".

He said the money could be used to replace these with permanent buildings.

When asked why his school - which Mr Schaeche said had "average" academic results -  was singled out over other Bendigo primary schools Mr Schaeche said he didn't know.

"I'm shooting in the dark a bit as well," he said.

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