Belvoir Special School opening | Photos

BELVOIR Special School principal Jamie Gay didn’t waste the chance of using the visit by Premier Denis Napthine yesterday to pitch for an early upgrade of his new $12 million school.

Dr Napthine joined the member for Benambra Bill Tilley when he opened the Gayview Drive school — it opened to students at the start of term three.

Mr Gay said students would love a pool if more state funding could be found.

Dr Napthine, who visited the school when it was being built last year, said the end product was “chalk and cheese” compared with the old school in Bowman Court.

He has a foster son who has severe autism.

Dr Napthine said his government was committed to providing modern, safe and secure education for all students.

“With 18 brand new classrooms, performance spaces and multi-purpose areas, the students at Belvoir will develop increased independence and employability,” he said.

“It also has dedicated facilities where students can work with speech therapists and occupational therapists.

“This is a far better outcome compared with the old school site where those services were carried out in the staff room.”

Belvoir has 164 full-time students aged five to 18 who have mild to severe intellectual disabilities.

Funding for the school was a 2009 election promise made by Mr Tilley.