July 5, 2021
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has urged the State Government to build a dedicated Special School in Kingaroy, saying both parents and teachers have told her there is a real need for the facility.
Mrs Frecklington quizzed Education Minister Grace Grace in May after receiving a delegation from two local mothers.
She said the mums had shared a “frightening story” about their children’s experiences in the region, including Prep students attending classes with students five years older than them.
Mrs Frecklington asked Minister Grace to specify what the trigger points were for the Education Department to consider the construction of a dedicated Special Education School, did Kingaroy qualify and, if not, would the department consider increasing the teaching and teaching aide resources at existing schools.
There is currently a Special Education program in place at Kingaroy State School but students spend most of their time in mainstream classes.
“I have spoken to enough teachers and enough parents to know that we need a dedicated Special School,” Mrs Frecklington said.
She said she believed there were about 60 youngsters in Kingaroy who would be considered “high needs”.
In her reply to the Question On Notice, Minister Grace said there were currently no plans for a special school to be built in Kingaroy.
She said the Education Department considered the need for new Special Schools on a case-be-case basis.
“However, State primary and secondary schools are provided with a core allocation of teachers and teacher aides for each student enrolled in the school, based on enrolment numbers,” Minister Grace said.
“Additional teachers and teacher aides are provided to schools for students with disability.”
Mrs Frecklington said the extra services a student requires were attached to the student, not to the school.
At a dedicated Special School, these services would be more easily accessible to all students.