Ballan secondary college proposal to go to education minister

MOTHER Gail Fiander understands Ballan will not receive a secondary college in time for her teenage son to complete his education.

But the concerned parent said she would continue to lobby the state government to improve education opportunities for other children in the town. 

Ballan Needs a Secondary College action group members met Deputy Premier Peter Ryan yesterday to push their agenda. 

“I home-school my son because we do not have a high school in Ballan,” Ms Fiander said. 

“I made the decision at the end of last year ... he wants to go to university and I want to help him achieve it.” 

The closest secondary school to Ballan is Bacchus Marsh College, located 23 kilometres away.

Secondary schools in Daylesford and Ballarat are located 29 and 34 kilometres from Ballan respectively. 

Ms Fiander said the state government needed to build a secondary college in Ballan sooner rather than later. 

“More than 100 kids (in Ballan) will be ready for secondary school by 2020,” she said. “We pointed out the increased developments in town and that the population projections are extremely conservative.” 

Another concerned mother, Gabrielle Fidler, said she was already thinking about where her three-year-old and five-year-old daughters would attend secondary school. 

“The kids who grow up in Ballan are very disconnected after year 7,” she said.

“They can’t socialise after school because they have a bus ride back home (to Ballan). 

“We live 70 kilometres from Melbourne and don’t have a secondary school,” Ms Fidler said. 

Mr Ryan said he accepted the proposal by the advocacy group and would present it to Education Minister Martin Dixon. 

“I will take that proposition to the minister Martin Dixon as the community recognises,” Mr Ryan said. 

“The protocols that go with the development of a facility require a certain population base to be established.” 

Mr Ryan said the state government had protocols in place to consider population growth when planning to build new schools.

kara.irving@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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