Lismore school secures its students
By Amanda Sproule
ONLY after the Holy water had been sprinkled could St John's College Woodlawn students fully appreciate their new personal high-security lockers.
Installed at a cost of $46,000 from funds provided by the Federal Government, the 520 lockers were officially opened yesterday.
Although the school already had lockers, college manager Vicky Fitness said students 'were unable to use the old ones effectively'.
"The new lockers are bigger and address our concerns for the safety of childrens' backs," Ms Fitness said. "They also help students with their organisational skills and lead to better educational outcomes."
While Ms Fitness agreed devices such as mobile phones were more prevalent now, the extra security measures weren't purely to accommodate valuables.
"Individual padlocks give the kids more control over their lockers and remove the risk of losing keys," she said.
St John's College principal, Glenn Roff, described the lockers as 'private havens'.
"On the surface it's difficult to generate dignity over the acknowledgement and blessing of new lockers, but can I say most sincerely this project has been a worthy one," Mr Roff said.
Federal Member for Page, Ian Causley, dispelled any hint of bias in Federal funding of schools, pointing out the Investing in Our Schools' program allowed government and non-government schools to apply 'for whatever they liked'.
"It's a fact 67 per cent of students go to public schools and they receive 75 per cent of Federal funding," Mr Causley said.
"Already $1.5 million from the program has been spent on schools in the Page electorate."
In total, the national funding program is worth almost $1.2 billion.
"It's a very big help," he said.