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Pool planned for disability education

 | 15 March 2017

A hydrotherapy pool at Byford Secondary College was built with the needs of future students with high-needs disabilities in mind, the Department of Education said today.

Executive Director of Statewide Planning and Delivery Stephen Baxter said the school was planned and built with a range of facilities so students with disability from the local and wider Armadale area could have the option to learn in a mainstream school with specialist facilities and specialist staff.

“The school currently has about 30 students with disability out of about 1,000 students, and we expect these numbers to grow,” he said.

He explained that it made good sense to have facilities in place for future students with special needs – rather than rushing to plan and build a much-needed facility once students were already there.

“While the hydrotherapy pool was constructed by June last year, unfortunately some technical and other matters have meant the pool was not safe to use until late February this year,” he said.

“However, it is now being used for some students with disabilities.”

A parent of a student who is recovering from cancer had requested for her son to use the pool for hydrotherapy as part of his medical recovery.

“The school is very happy for the student to use the pool as part of his medical recovery, but I understand his therapy needs to be provided by a qualified medical therapist and school staff don’t have those skills,” he said.

“The student’s family is encouraged to talk with their child’s doctors about arranging this therapy – and certainly the school would be happy to provide access to the pool.”

Quick facts about the Byford Secondary College hydrotherapy pool:

  • Construction of $700,000 pool was part of major $43million stage two build at the school
  • Pool construction completed in June last year
  • School staff did training in correct management of the pool, using it safely with students and pool rescue and were accredited by October
  • Technical issues including a problem with the heating system meant the pool could not be used until repairs were completed
  • Pool was safe for use from February 23 this year
  • Pool is now being used