Navigator Program Expanded To Keep Kids In School

An important program to engage students and keep kids at risk of disengaging at school will be rolled out to three new areas, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Education James Merlino today announced Wimmera South-West, Barwon and North Eastern Melbourne will benefit from the $43.8 million expansion of the Navigator program, which provides direct support to help young people aged 12 to 17 years old to re-engage with school and reach their potential.

The Navigator program will be introduced to these three new areas from Term 1, 2020.

It follows the successful earlier roll out the pilot program in 2016, which returned hundreds of students to schools in eight areas of the state: Mallee, Central Highlands, Goulburn, Ovens-Murray, Hume-Moreland, Bayside Peninsula, South Melbourne, Western Melbourne.

Since then, the Labor Government has committed to continue to expand the program state-wide.

The three new areas are part of a phased expansion of the program, with Brimbank, Melton, Loddon-Campaspe and Inner Gippsland added this year and the remaining three areas of Victoria to benefit by 2021.

The Navigator program supports young people not attending school or struggling with attendance by connecting them with a case worker who can provide access to a range of support services and create a path back to education.

As of June this year, 1,628 students have either started attending or increased their attendance at school thanks to the program.

The Labor Government is building the Education State so every Victorian student can get a great education and succeed, whatever their background or circumstances.

Expressions of interest to deliver the service in the three new areas are now open. For further information, visit education.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“This program has already helped more than 1,600 students stay in school. This expansion will support even more young people to get the education they need and set them up for their future.”

“We are working to keep more students in school because part of making Victoria the Education State is making sure every young person has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”