The Woodford community took the opportunity to attend an open forum in Woodford last night, organised by local LNP Member Andrew Powell MP, to discuss their desire to expand the current P-10 school to incorporate Year 11 and 12.
Mr Powell had arranged for local Councillor Adrian Raedel and community member Michelle Hewitt to attend the meeting and share their experience with those present. Shadow Minister for Education, Dr Bruce Flegg MP, was also invited to hear first hand the challenges faced by this tight knit community.
“Our parents have a tough decision to make and when the future of your kids is at stake I’m not at all surprised that parents in this community are frustrated at the current situation.
“Many parents don’t want to send their kids to Woodford State School only to have to take them to another school for their senior years but if they go outside the catchment they are faced with long travel times and high transport costs,” Mr Powell said.
The community meeting that Mr Powell arranged in Woodford was well attended by locals and Dr Flegg certainly gave those present options to consider for the future.
“The community certainly put forward a very compelling argument to support the expansion of this school facility.
“My preference, should an LNP Government be chosen on March 24, would be to see all schools cater for senior students so long as it stands up to rigorous cost analysis and can provide a quality service. I also believe the impending move of Year 7 to high school creates opportunities for communities like Woodford,” Dr Flegg commented.
Well known community member Michelle Hewitt – the sponsor of a petition to the state government last year calling on the expansion of the Woodford State School- attended the meeting and gave a heartfelt speech on what this issue means to her.
“Ms Hewitt, talked of young children having to get up at 5.30am every day during the school week in order to catch public transport to school – resulting in an 11 hour day. This is far from ideal for our young people,” Dr Flegg said.
Mr Powell understands that the community has reservations this will ever be a reality in the future given they have been asking for a senior high school program for at least the last 30 years.
“I know the community has been let down in the past. I don’t want to do that. I believe a number of opportunities, including the addition of Year 7 to high school, mean the time is right. I won’t give up easily on this one,” Mr Powell concluded.