'Fix our school'

TEACHERS at Tweed River High School have threatened industrial action if the NSW government fails to take immediate action to improve safety at the school.

Through the NSW Teachers Fed- --------------- --------------- eration they have demanded an im- mediate comprehensive risk assess- ment of the school and a risk management plan be put in place to protect students and teachers around R (F) and J blocks.

They say if immediate action is not taken a meeting will be called to --------------- --------------- consider possible industrial action or having the matter referred to Workcover and the Industrial Rela- tions Commission.

Teachers Federation spokeswo- man Nicole Major said yesterday an ambulance had to be called to Tweed River High three times in the past 15 months after both students and teach- ers injured themselves in the school grounds.

A statement from the federation also cited sev- eral examples of serious incidents at the school.

"There is an imme- diate need for repairs," Ms Major said. "People are getting injured." A NSW Education De- partment spokesman confirmed last night that planning was under way to repair the pavement and install fencing out- side F and J blocks, with works likely to begin "in a matter of weeks".

The spokesman also confirmed Tweed River High had been allocated $4.5 million for capital works but the funds would not be released --------------- --------------- until the 2008-2009 finan- cial year.

But Ms Major said it was far too little.

"The fencing is just to keep the kids out of the problem area rather than addressing the pro- blem and fixing it," she said.

"I still think risk% assessment needs to be done, staff consulted and then the department needs to look at what they are going to do to fix the OH&S risk issues."

Ms Major said by de- laying the work the edu- cation department was leaving itself open to le- gal action. "I would think in the case of people be- ing injured the school could be sued," she said.

Tweed River High principal Narelle Howell was not prepared to comment yesterday.

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