A PETITION calling for a secondary school in Leopold has attracted more than 780 signatures.
Resident Josh Robins, who started the petition about four weeks ago, said a high school was needed for Leopold’s future and planning around its rapid growth.
Mr Robins closed the “Secondary School in Leopold Needed!!!” petition at change.org on Tuesday.
Local Clare Thompson wrote, “Waiting until one primary school has 1000 students before looking at a high school is ridiculous! Time to plan for it now”, while Alyssa Cefai said, “I live in Leopold and would love to have my kids go to high school in the town that they live in… to be able to walk or ride to school like I did when I was a kid.”
Adding strength to his fight, Mr Robins has also contacted Bellarine MP Lisa Neville and Bellarine Liberal candidate Brian McKiterick with the community’s concerns.
Ms Neville said every year the department reassessed the education provision needed of each community, which included Leopold.
“This includes looking at demographic and enrolment trends.
“There is also extensive work done with councils regarding growth and planning decisions to ensure early planning can be done where major population growth is expected.”
She said she had previously raised the matter with the Minister for Education James Merlino and would continue to do so, to ensure that the local needs were being assessed.
“Leopold secondary students access both Bellarine and Newcomb Secondary Colleges, together with Geelong High School,” Ms Neville said.
“These schools currently have sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the local communities.
“And under this government, $3.7 million dollars has been spent on upgrading the Leopold Primary School to ensure these local students have the facilities they need.
“I will continue to work with the community and the Education Department to ensure that when, and if required, we have the land and the funding for a secondary school in Leopold.”
Mr McKiterick recently met with residents and said he was supportive of a high school for Leopold.