More than new buildings: Shadow education minister weighs in on GSSC

UNDER CONSTRUCTION.... Greater Shepparton Secondary College is well on the way towards completion. Photo: Steve Hutcheson

THE Greater Shepparton Secondary College has over the past month attracted the police, state-wide media attention, and now politicians.

On Monday, Victoria’s shadow education minister, David Hodgett, met with local parents, the education department, other community groups and got a tour of the new campus.

“It’s one thing to read reports or hear second-hand reports on some of the challenges faced up here with this new school, so the best thing is to come up, have a look and meet with groups,” he said, talking to media in Sheppartons Queens Gardens on Monday.

Mr Hodgett’s tone was not all-out dismissive of the Government’s efforts in bringing to fruition the ‘super school’, instead highlighting that investment in new buildings must be matched with investment in consultation and creating a viable school community.

“People don’t feel they’ve consulted enough,” he said.

“We don’t pretend to have all the ideas…if the community can put up a great idea on how to make this model work, we’d be looking to advocate on their behalf and go to the government.”

Referring to a brawl at the Wanganui Campus on February 26 where police were called, Mr Hodgett said, “No one wants to see those…they’re concerning incidents.

Local MP, Ms Lovell, echoed Mr Hodgett’s sentiments.

“I think the facilities will look fantastic, but facilities don’t make for a good education,” she said.

“What makes for a good education is the culture in the school and what we have seen under this government is that they haven’t worked hard enough to put in place the support networks that would have created a great culture right from the beginning.”