More young people will be encouraged to remain engaged in education or training through an expansion of the successful Student Mentoring Program.
Minister for Education James Merlino and Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley officially launched round two of the program today – with applications for 2018 and 2019 now open.
They have called for organisations and schools to develop new or continue existing mentoring programs for children and young people at risk of disengaging from their schooling or training.
The grants will support young people to maintain their participation and interest, particularly at key transition points such as between primary school and secondary school.
A key focus will be on supporting Indigenous students, students in out-of-home care, or those from low socio-economic or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Research shows youth mentoring can help students achieve their full potential and the program has been proven to have enhanced student optimism, confidence and resilience and built strong pathways to further learning and employment.
For example, a Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency program for children living away from home reported that a young mentee who had been at risk of dropping out of school early was now planning on continuing his education after being inspired by his mentor’s career as a paramedic.
The Student Mentoring Program is a key component of the Labor Government’s ambitious Education State target of having more happy, healthy and resilient kids.
The program is also a vital cog in breaking the link between disadvantage and student achievement. The target is to halve the proportion of students who leave education during years nine to 12 by 2025.
Grant applications close on 15 November, more information can be found at: .
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“All young people – regardless of their background or personal circumstances – deserve the chance to reach their full potential and mentoring programs like this help them remain engaged in education and training.”
“The first round of students, mentors and teachers have reported improvements in student attitudes and behaviour, social connectedness, resilience and academic achievement.”
Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley
“We know that some young people need a little extra help to stop them falling out of the education system or training.”
“This program has been expanded for a very simple reason – it is making a real difference to students’ lives.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020