Funding shortfall hits college

Students at Saltwater P-9 College would like funding allocated for Year 7 studies next year. Photo: Renee Belsey

By Alesha Capone

Parents of pupils at Saltwater P-9 College in Point Cook have expressed disappointment the school will not offer year seven next year.

A school newsletter, issued last month, said Saltwater would not be able to cater for year seven in 2020 “without further funding” to build future planned stages of the college.

A petition on the website, calling on the state government to give Saltwater funding to either complete its planned stage two build or to provide learning spaces for grade six students to continue their studies next year, has attracted 400 signatures.

In the comments section, one parent wrote: “If you cater for year 6, then you are obliged to cater them for the following year 7.

“Parents are already deeply invested in the school with computers, uniforms and curriculum that it would be destabilizing to the child’s development to have to move again.”

Mother Renee Belsey said the news about year seven not being offered at the school had left more than 30 families “scrambling around” trying to find options for their children.

Ms Belsey’s son, grade 5 pupil Benjamin, has even written a letter to Altona MP Jill Hennessy asking for “funding for our secondary building and facilities”.

Another mother, Casey Knight said her family moved to Point Cook in September last year, especially so their three children could attend Saltwater.

Jill Hennessy said she has been in discussions with the Minster for Education “advocating on behalf of the interests of families and students within the Saltwater P-9 College school community”.

“All Victorian students deserve a quality education close to their homes and I am committed to working for local families in Point Cook to deliver on this core value,” she saod.

Star Weekly contacted Saltwater P-9 College for comment.