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Government neglects school for profoundly disabled children covered in mould

Article image for Government neglects school for profoundly disabled children covered in mould

A Sydney public school for profoundly disabled children is covered in mould and should be bulldozed, according to the local MP.

7 News report has revealed parents of children who attend Passfield Park Public in Minto have been campaigning for years to have something done about the issue, but have been ignored.

The school, which caters for children with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities, is covered in mould, both outside and inside, which can cause breathing difficulties and chronic health problems.

Since the story aired, School Infrastructure NSW says air quality tests have been carried out and the mould has been removed (full statement below).

Paediatrician and Federal Member for Macarthur Dr Michael Freelander tells Ray Hadley he’s written to several education ministers about the issue to no avail.

“They’ve done nothing for years. I’m told that they’re thinking about some action but we’ve not been informed about what it is.”

But he says the mould isn’t even the only issue. The school has structural issues and some classrooms aren’t even accessible for wheelchair users.

“It’s not purpose-built for kids with as severe disabilities as these kids.

“If this was within someone’s home, you wouldn’t live there… and yet the kids are exposed to this every day.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Statement from a spokesperson at School Infrastructure NSW:

“Last night School Infrastructure NSW attended Passfield Park Public School with a remediation expert as part of a planned program of works.

Air quality testing has taken place and air quality levels are safe at the school.

Three classrooms – Rooms 6, 12 and 17 were cleaned and mould removed. Mould levels at the school are within normal guidelines.

Remediation experts will be on site today monitoring the school to ensure readiness for the beginning of Term 3.

The following work will be undertaken today and over the weekend before school resumes on Monday:

  • the classrooms will be re-cleaned
  • further air quality testing will be undertaken as part of the Departments ongoing testing program
  • Tree sap will cleaned from the shade sales.

Whilst a full upgrade of Passfield Park Public School is in the early stages of planning, the Department acknowledges that remediation works must be ongoing in the meantime.

At Passfield Park, the Department has and will continue to respond with the following measures as required:

  • Provide dehumidifiers to the school
  • Install mesh screens over the windows to allow for air flow
  • Clean walls and brickwork
  • Carry out preventative sealing and painting brickwork

Air quality testing is undertaken on a quarterly basis in NSW public schools, and works are carried out in line with recommended guidelines.”


Ray Hadley