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Education

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Victorian Coalition Government's vision is to build a global top tier learning community in Victoria. We believe that every student can have a world leading education, regardless of their background.

We are building a better education system to deliver stronger student outcomes through targeted investment in three priority areas: student focus, choice and values.

In 2012 the Government released two major education reform policies; From New Directions to Action: World class teaching and school leadership and the Towards Victoria as a Learning Community policy statements. Together with our statement on universal Languages education, the initiatives in these papers form our education strategy to lift Victoria into the global top tier within a decade.

Improved performance of this magnitude will depend on significant improvements in the quality of teaching across all Victorian classrooms.

To achieve this improvement the Coalition Government has committed to lifting the quality, status and professionalism of the teaching profession through partnership with an empowered, supported and trusted group of school leaders. Reforms to recruitment, training, performance management and professional development are all key features of this agenda. In schools the Government has committed to important improvements in curriculum, professional practice, accountability, assessment and reporting, support for schools and stronger partnerships with the community.

Significant ongoing investment in education infrastructure to create the right school environment underpins our plan. This includes tools and technology that help deliver quality and consistency of education at schools, and investment in buildings and maintenance.

Student focus

  • Signing the Better Schools funding agreement under which the Victorian Coalition Government will deliver an additional $5.4 billion over six years.
  • Increased school education expenditure of over $1 billion since 2010-11.
  • $710 million for the Program for Students with a Disability and transport for students with a disability in 2014-15
  • Equity funding for disadvantaged students including an additional $319 million from 2011 to 2014.
  • Launch of the new Insight Assessment Platform, to drive personalised learning plans via world class assessment tools and data analytics.
  • Launch of the Engaging Parents in Career Conversations online resource, to encourage parents and students to initiate and maintain a conversation about study and potential career paths.
  • 70 Victorian schools are sharing in grants totalling $2.45 million for programs that help regional students to complete Year 12, as part of Round 1 and 2 of the Local Solutions Year 12 Retention Fund.
  • $2 million in a new Early Years Koori Literacy and Numeracy Program to provide personalised early intervention support via schools to Koori students from Foundation to Year 3 who are experiencing difficulty with literacy and numeracy.

Curriculum

  • Release of whole school curriculum planning portal, including AusVELS curriculum examples, a whole school plan self-assessment tool and updated advice to help schools design and implement curriculum programs to meet the needs of their school communities.
  • Launch of the first gifted and talented strategy in almost a decade, Aiming High sets out a whole of community framework to support enrichment and extension programs for gifted and talented students from early childhood to tertiary study and beyond.
  • Implementation of the world leading Abilities Based Learning and Education Support program where teachers in mainstream schools get evidence based tools to assess student capability and construct targeted teaching strategies for learning.
  • Re-engagement programs guidance to support schools to identify the features of quality re-engagement programs for disengaged and at risk students.
  • A new toolkit to measure the English language proficiency of students learning English as an additional language
  • Languages Education:
    • 210 Language scholarships for experienced, undergraduate and aspiring teachers to become world class language teachers.
    • Languages clusters and new language education programs across Victoria, to support all government schools provide a language program, beginning with Prep from 2015.
    • $13 million for the Victorian Young Leaders to China Program will send 1,500 Year 9 students to China over five years from 2014 to develop capabilities for modern ways of living, thinking and working. The Victorian Young Leaders to China program was announced by the Premier of Victoria during the China Super Trade Mission in 2012.
    • $16.3 million to increase per capita grant funding to over 36,000 students learning languages through after hours community language schools.
    • Sister-school partnerships have been supported by a grants scheme formed as part of the Victorian Coalition Government's $300,000 election commitment to strengthen sister-schools in Victoria.

Teaching

  • Signed an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement with Teachers.
  • Released a comprehensive policy paper, From New Directions to Action: World Class Teaching and School Leadership which provides a clear plan for improving teacher quality in Victorian schools and consequently lifting student outcomes into the global top-tier.
  • Implemented a new Performance and Development Framework for teachers and principals.
  • $24.3 million provided for 200 Maths and Science specialist teachers for primary schools.
  • 400 scholarships for Science undergraduates to become teachers.
  • Allocated $15.7 million towards performance and development initiatives for both teachers and principals, including:
    • Provision of $1.6 million for the establishment of 12 new Teaching Academies of Professional Practice, giving student teachers an immersive, pre-service experience;
    • $2.5 million for teacher led research opportunities, wherein teachers are given work release to engage with world class professional development of their choosing;
    • A suite of programs to further develop the skills of existing principals and to train the next generation of educational leaders; and
    • Providing support for an additional cohort of Teach for Australia (TFA) graduates, bringing the Coalition Government's funding for TFA to date to over $10 million.
    • Removed the priority status for teachers named in excess, making appointment processes in schools both fair and merit based.

Choice

  • Extra funding for non-government school students to deliver 25 per cent of the cost of educating a student in a Government school.
  • First government school International Baccalaureate Diploma at Werribee Secondary College.
  • The new Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences at University High School.
  • $2.5 million for 25 school specialisation grants to teach science, maths, engineering, technology, arts and languages.
  • New VCE level options: specialisation, Victorian baccalaureate and industry programs.

Cutting red tape and increasing local decision making

  • No more Network reporting.
  • Suspension of the School Compliance Checklist.
  • New support roles for Regional Network Leaders.
  • Investing in a Local Administration Bureau to support small schools with administrative work.
  • Reform of the School Review process, with accompanying intervention and support processes.
  • Release of simple and flexible student reporting guidelines for principals and teachers.

Values

Safe and supportive schools

  • $124 million over four years for Primary Welfare Officers (PWOs), to bring coverage to 800 primary schools (an increase of 150 PWOs).
  • Principal powers to ban and remove weapons and dangerous items.
  • $200 million of Student Support Services Officers (SSSOs) funding returned to schools from the Department to better address local needs over the forward estimates
  • New funding model and pilot sites for Alternative Settings to re-engage students.
  • Support for Principals to fight unacceptable behaviour by adults in schools.
  • The release of a suite of online guidelines and tools (including model statement of values) to support schools to build healthy, safe and respectful school communities.
  • New school attendance guidelines to address the cause and effect of serial truancy.
  • $4 million investment in Bully Stoppers and $10.5 million in eSmart.
  • $7.5 million of recurrent funding to connect community and local government service providers with schools via the School Focused Youth Service (SFYS).
  • $2 million towards building teacher capacity to manage challenging student behaviour.
  • Development of a curriculum to address issues related to gender-based violence.

Community partnerships

  • Partnership with Melbourne University to develop Resilience Framework to teach students how to make good choices.
  • Partnership with Education Queensland to make the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum available to all Victorian schools. This curriculum focuses on improving students' knowledge, skills, understanding and awareness about personal safety.
  • $1 million to expand the school wide Positive Behaviour Support program to 70 schools, making a total of 220 schools participating in the program.
  • Partnership with headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation to deliver programs to support students experiencing mental health issues.
  • Partnership with the AFL to develop and deliver the One Team One Goal program to stamp out racism in schools.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Koori Academy and Alpine School for Leadership to ensure Koori students at Government schools can undertake leadership development programs.
  • MoU with Chinese Government to bring Chinese senior secondary students to Australian schools.
  • New Heart of Football College at John Fawkner College delivering elite training and academic program.
  • Almost 80 Victorian Schools have been selected to take part in the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning initiative – a global digital education initiative.

Infrastructure

Over $1.1 billion for school capital works and maintenance since 2011

  • All capital works election commitments have been funded in the Government's first term.
  • 23 new schools across Melbourne's growing communities including Torquay, Officer, Point Cook and Doreen, including 11 new schools via $191 million Public Private Partnership (PPP).
  • $85 million for land acquisition for new school construction.
  • Over $285 million invested in existing and new school infrastructure in rural and regional Victoria since 2011.
  • Investment of over $86 million for Special and Autistic schools – having made the single largest capital investment in special and autistic schools in over a decade in our first budget.
  • Over $100 million of additional funding for school maintenance
  • An online application system to assist schools to address unforeseen maintenance issues that pose an immediate risk to the health and safety of school users.
  • $26 million for relocatable classrooms to provide flexibility for growing school communities since 2011
  • $2.1 million for 5 state-of-the-art science laboratories at Alamanda K-9 in Point Cook; Tarneit P-9 College; Brentwood Secondary College; and Gleneagles Secondary College.
  • $1 million to upgrade science laboratories at Neerim District Secondary College, Mooroopna Secondary College and Kyneton Secondary College
  • VicSmart Bandwidth upgrades to enhance access to digital services.
  • No-cost internet policy for schools introduced in 2010 has saved schools approximately $60 million.
  • Video conferencing systems for rural and remote schools rolled out to more than 720 schools.

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