Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A new school

Interesting to read about teachers ( not churches or boards or companies) taking matters into their own hands and starting up a school of their own.Very ambitious.
This story was on ABC television last night

A group of teachers are looking to solve the problem of overcrowding in inner city schools by opening their own.

Having already received money from private donors, the group are now running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the remaining $2 million needed to have the school open by February 2016.

If successful, the campaign will see the independent school open in a heritage-listed former soap factory on the edge of the Fishermans Bend development.

Co-founder and principal Dr Jeanne Shaw said the Sandridge School, as it will be known, would be a progressive secular school. 

"We want to be entirely independent, not posh and no frills but just a really urban, cutting-edge school that's run by top educators," she told 774 ABC Melbourne's Red Symons.

Dr Shaw said currently families in the Port Melbourne area had to either send their children to "overcrowded, overflowing" schools or move to an area with a less crowded school.

"So a group of us thought, now lawyers set-up their own law firms and doctors set-up their own practices, why can't a group of teachers set-up their own school?"

If all goes to plan, the Sandridge School will enrol 200 students in years seven and eight next year.

"We're going to start with a secondary [school] because there's no secondary school in Port Melbourne or in the Docklands at the moment," Dr Shaw said. 

While the Sandridge School will be independent, Dr Shaw said it would not have "any of the trappings of the more prestigious schools".

"We haven't got the ovals and we haven't got the tennis courts and the pools and all that," she said.

"We're just going have our kids use all of the magnificent facilities in inner Melbourne."

Named after the original name for Port Melbourne, the Sandridge School will be housed in an art deco building opposite the Port Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"It was built in the 1920s as a soap factory and they made Rinso and Solvo and Velvet soap.

"It's got a heritage overlay so, whilst there's development going on all around in that urban renewal Fisherman's Bend precinct, this beautiful building ... has to be rescued and restored."

She said the premises have been secured on "generous terms" from the Stamoulis Property Group, a company building a residential development in the area. 

"We said 'you need a school if you've got all these families coming in'," Dr Shaw said.

Money from the crowdfunding campaign will be used to fit-out the building.

She said the group behind the Sandridge School had been talking to the State Government about seed funding but needed to move now to ensure the school opens in 2016.

"We really see the need as urgent," Dr Shaw said.

"We've got everything ready to roll and we've got the building and we've got the curriculum and we've got the teachers all lining up to teach there."

More information on the crowd funding campaign can be found on the Sandridge School website.


No comments:

Post a Comment