Cape Clear Primary School principal Lachlan Day was glad he was sitting down when he got a call from Buninyong MP Michaela Settle that the school would be receiving more than $820,000 in Tuesday's state budget.
The call came out of the blue less than an hour before the budget was delivered in state parliament.
Although the school started the year with 34 students, COVID hit the area hard and several families moved away, meaning there are now 24 students attending the school.
"We might need some time now to think how we best utilise the money," Mr Day said.
"We are really glad the state government and education department have recognised rural setting schools within this budget and money is being pushed out to remote communities where money can spread far and wide within a small school setting," he said.
"As Daniel Andrews said, we need to match the quality of teaching and learning with the quality of buildings we are delivering education in."
Mr Day said he would consult with the school community on what the surprise cash should be spent on.
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"We would be looking to improve facilities with building upgrades, updating furniture and resources in the school, and we'd also be really interested in perhaps a STEM classroom for additional learning.
"And we'll fix up some of the defects, those jobs that have been sitting there for a while that may now become reality."
Mr Day said small schools often struggled to fund larger projects so the cash was much needed.
"With a small enrolment, large projects are often hard to manage and save money for ... so to be given such a large sum of money to perhaps look at something that wasn't at all possible ... this sort of news coming at the end of the year in a hard year for everyone is very welcome."