A HIGH school for Agnes Water is now firmly on the agenda of Education Queensland following a concerted campaign by a community lobby group.
A meeting at Agnes Water State School earlier this week, attended by Education Queensland officers and the Agnes Water/1770 high school advocacy group plus State MP Rob Messenger and Federal MP Chris Trevor, raised hopes that a high school was now a priority following overwhelming growth statistics, community support and parental concern.
More than 100 students from Agnes Water and immediate surrounds are travelling up to four hours a day on buses to Rosedale and Bundaberg and many more have been forced to leave the district or go to boarding schools.
A survey of parents conducted by the advocacy group has revealed a 100 per cent positive response as to whether they would send their children to a high school in Agnes Water if it existed, while 50pc of respondents said they could be forced to leave the district because of lack of secondary schooling.
Advocacy group spokesperson Nita Olig, who has one daughter in boarding school and another due to start secondary school, next year, said she was now hopeful a high school would be built and the community would not lose so many families and teenagers in the future.
“We came away from the meeting excited that it is now on the agenda,” Ms Olig said.
“Not for next year, but possibly 2011 or more likely 2012.”
Parents have been lobbying the state government for more than five years for a high school or middle school at Agnes Water, but numbers have not stacked up until recently. However now Education Queensland's own statistics reveal that Agnes Water is the only growth area or catchment in the immediate districts of The Discovery Coast.
The advocacy group met with Education Minister Geoff Wilson last month and initially were met with a “figures don't stack up” response.
However Education Queensland officers dispatched by the minister to this week's meeting acknowledged that the area was a growth corridor and a high school was needed in the district.
Mr Messenger, the Member for Burnett, raised the issue in state Parliament last week.
“I am hoping this minister realises the need for a secondary school is becoming a critical issue for the families who are constantly moving to the area,” Mr Messenger said.
“The need for this school has an overwhelming amount of community support.”
Member for Flynn Mr Trevor said: “Today's meeting was positive and heralds the start of a process designed to establish the best educational and safety needs of students at Agnes Water.”
EQ's regional executive director Ken Collier said: “As a further way forward, it was decided (at the meeting) that Education Queensland would again meet with the Agnes Water community after the day 8 enrolment process in 2010.”The need for this school has an overwhelming amount of community support. Rob Messenger, MP