MP calls for tech school in Shepparton

By James Bennett

Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed wants a new technical school built in Shepparton.

During an adjournment session in State Parliament on Wednesday, the independent MP told Education Minister James Merlino to "broaden" the Shepparton Education Plan.

Ms Sheed said the main purpose of the plan should be the curriculum and access to “educational opportunities”, rather than new infrastructure.

She said younger regional people are more vulnerable than their metropolitan counterparts, as they usually have less access to services.

"These technical schools are not the traditional trade schools for those students who aspire to trades and the like," Ms Sheed said.

"They are high-tech schools offering subjects like robotics, 3D printing and computer sciences.

"One of the outstanding benefits of having a tech school is that once established it will be available to all schools in the region, whether they be primary, secondary, state, Catholic or grammar schools."

During its first term, the Andrews Government built 10 tech schools across the state, and all have a greater emphasis on science, technology, engineering and maths.

The regional schools were built in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Gippsland, while the remaining schools went up in Melbourne's outer suburbs.

Ms Sheed said some Shepparton-established institutions, including Melbourne and La Trobe Universities and GOTAFE, could house a tech school.

"Greater Shepparton is the obvious next region to receive such a school, and I believe such an investment in our community will provide great opportunities for future generations of students," Ms Sheed said.

"Our local industries are forging ahead and are crying out for workers skilled in developing high-tech industries, including the fields of agricultural automation, food and fibre production, engineering and information technology.

"Minister (James Merlino), I ask that you deliver a high-tech school and an education hub in Greater Shepparton as an important part of the Shepparton education plan."

The News understands a tech school was on the list of priorities community members requested during consultation for the Shepparton Education Plan.

The News also understands the State Government doesn't have any further announcements planned for tech school locations.