My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Education, and it is in relation to the Warrnambool Alternative VCAL Education School, or WAVE. The WAVE program was established in 2010 as a satellite school to Warrnambool College. Prior to that it was auspiced by Brauer Secondary College, Mortlake College and Hawkesdale P-12 College as a community school. The school was established to re-engage students who were finding it difficult to engage in mainstream education in the region.
Currently there are 32 students aged between 14 and 19 enrolled at the school. Students include young mums, indigenous youth and intellectually impaired students, as well as students with mental illnesses.
Organisations involved in the school include Brophy Family and Youth Services, Worn Gundidj, the Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre, and Western District Employment Access, as well as local police helping out with counselling and other programs.
There have been a number of positive outcomes achieved at the school. We have seen an improved completion rate, employment transfers and entry into trainee and apprenticeship programs. We are seeing an improvement in attendance and in the culture at the school; however, it is clear the students do not see mainstream education as an option. WAVE provides an option for those in the community who are doing it really tough, and it provides them with friendships and mentoring when they are going through difficult times.
Whilst there are some positive outcomes being achieved at WAVE, there are some issues that require the attention of the minister.
The site is in desperate need of repairs, as it currently fails many standards and does not meet level 9 of the building code, which is a requirement for accredited Victorian certificate of applied learning programs. Earlier in the year it was reported in the Warrnambool Standard that the school was warned that it could be shut down because the buildings were unfit for use. As I understand it, Warrnambool College has made presentations to a number of Liberal members of Parliament, both state and federal. As yet it has not received a response or any information as a result of those meetings or visits to the school.
Reports of the school closing and the current state of the buildings are detrimental to its students, who are already facing significant challenges, so tonight I urge the minister to provide the necessary funding to bring this important facility up to a standard alongside our mainstream schools as a matter of urgency.