• State Member for Monbulk, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education

    As your State Member of Parliament, I am passionate about representing our local community. My office and staff are here to help you and your family. Please feel free to contact my office in Belgrave, or send through an email.

  • GETTING RID OF TWO MORE LEVEL CROSSINGS IN MELBOURNE’S EAST

    The Andrews Labor Government will build rail bridges to remove two more dangerous and congested level crossings in Melbourne’s East. Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan joined Member for Monbulk James Merlino to reveal designs for the Manchester Road, Mooroolbark and Maroondah Highway, Lilydale level crossing removals.

  • DELIVERING FOR MONBULK

    The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its promises and delivering for the people of Monbulk, with major investments in local schools, roads, health and public transport in the Victorian Budget 2019/20.

  • MORE CAR PARKS AT BELGRAVE STATION A STEP CLOSER

    Geotechnical works will take place at Belgrave Station car park from next week, as the Andrews Labor Government gets on with building more spaces for passengers to park.

  • FREE TAFE KICKS OFF IN MONBULK

    Students and job seekers from Monbulk can now take up Free TAFE training under the Andrews Labor Government’s $172 million program to make 30 priority TAFE courses and 20 pre-apprenticeship courses tuition fee free from this year.

  • State Member for Monbulk, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education

    As your State Member of Parliament, I am passionate about representing our local community. My office and staff are here to help you and your family. Please feel free to contact my office in Belgrave, or send through an email.

Media Centre

Free Pads And Tampons In All Government Schools

Free pads and tampons are now available in every government school in Victoria – reducing the discomfort and embarrassment around periods for girls and saving families hundreds of dollars every year. Victoria is the first state or territory in Australia to ensure all students attending government schools have access to free pads and tampons – with the initiative now in Victoria’s more than 1500 Government schools. The $20.7 million initiative helps students feel more comfortable managing their periods by providing discreet and easy access to products when they need them. Pads and tampons are available free of charge in school bathrooms, relieving anxiety and embarrassment for girls, and ensuring they can get the most from their education. Schools will play an important role in promoting a positive culture around menstrual health and build a supportive environment among the school community. The initiative also aims to reduce the stigma of periods, make school more inclusive and will ease the cost of living on families while helping students focus on their studies. Lack of easy access to pads and tampons can negatively impact on students’ participation in sport and everyday school activities. Students may not be able to concentrate in class, feel comfortable or feel confident doing physical activity, or they may miss school altogether. Sanitary items are a necessity, not a luxury, and this initiative is supporting tens of thousands of girls and young women in schools across the state. As part of this initiative, students also receive important health information about how to manage their periods. The Government is also supporting students’ health and wellbeing through a number of other initiatives including mental health practitioners in secondary schools and the expansion of the School Breakfast Clubs program to 500 new schools. Through its Education State Targets, the Victorian Government is committed to building resilience and physical activity in students, while also increasing access and equity in education. Right now, only senior secondary students and other students who are not able to be supervised at home and for who no other arrangements can be made – including children whose parents cannot work from home, vulnerable children and children with a disability – are learning at school. All other students are learning remotely. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re proud to be providing free sanitary items in all Victorian government schools to ensure that students – regardless of their background or circumstances – can focus and participate fully in their education.” Quote attributable to Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams “Getting your period is a normal part of life and sanitary items are a basic necessity. We’re ensuring all girls in our public schools have access to pads and tampons when they need them, so they can focus on their studies.” Download the Media Release (208 KB)

Free Pads And Tampons In All Government Schools

Free pads and tampons are now available in every government school in Victoria – reducing the discomfort and embarrassment around periods for girls and saving families hundreds of dollars every year. Victoria is the first state or territory in Australia to ensure all students attending government schools have access to free pads and tampons – with the initiative now in Victoria’s more than 1500 Government schools. The $20.7 million initiative helps students feel more comfortable managing their periods by providing discreet and easy access to products when they need them. Pads and tampons are available free of charge in school bathrooms, relieving anxiety and embarrassment for girls, and ensuring they can get the most from their education. Schools will play an important role in promoting a positive culture around menstrual health and build a supportive environment among the school community. The initiative also aims to reduce the stigma of periods, make school more inclusive and will ease the cost of living on families while helping students focus on their studies. Lack of easy access to pads and tampons can negatively impact on students’ participation in sport and everyday school activities. Students may not be able to concentrate in class, feel comfortable or feel confident doing physical activity, or they may miss school altogether. Sanitary items are a necessity, not a luxury, and this initiative is supporting tens of thousands of girls and young women in schools across the state. As part of this initiative, students also receive important health information about how to manage their periods. The Government is also supporting students’ health and wellbeing through a number of other initiatives including mental health practitioners in secondary schools and the expansion of the School Breakfast Clubs program to 500 new schools. Through its Education State Targets, the Victorian Government is committed to building resilience and physical activity in students, while also increasing access and equity in education. Right now, only senior secondary students and other students who are not able to be supervised at home and for who no other arrangements can be made – including children whose parents cannot work from home, vulnerable children and children with a disability – are learning at school. All other students are learning remotely. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re proud to be providing free sanitary items in all Victorian government schools to ensure that students – regardless of their background or circumstances – can focus and participate fully in their education.” Quote attributable to Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams “Getting your period is a normal part of life and sanitary items are a basic necessity. We’re ensuring all girls in our public schools have access to pads and tampons when they need them, so they can focus on their studies.” Download the Media Release (208 KB)

Face Coverings And Masks For Metro Schools

Schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be one of the first priority areas to receive reusable face masks in coming weeks as remote learning returns. The Victorian Government has placed orders for 1.37 million reusable fabric masks from five Victorian manufacturers. These orders will be delivered across July and August. The manufacturers are companies Nobody Denim, StylePrint, NMBQ, The Ark and The Mask Project – supporting local jobs while keeping Victorians safe. Further orders will be placed as needed. All students aged 12 and over and staff who are attending school in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be required to wear a face covering or mask when at school from Thursday, 23 July. Masks will not be mandatory for teachers while they are teaching students but should be worn at other times. Specialist schools and primary schools are exempt from this rule. The Department of Education of Training will be one of the first to receive the reusable masks and will provide them to students if they are unable to access one from home. However, it is expected most students will provide their own face covering and mask. Reusable masks will also be available for staff and will be provided to both government and non-government schools. 23 million single use masks have also been ordered and will be distributed while the reusable masks are made. Around 500,000 have already been provided to DHHS for public housing tower tenants and 1,200,000 single use masks to the Department of Education and Training for use in schools. Senior secondary students will this week continue learning on-site across the state, together with other students who are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made – including children whose parents cannot work from home, vulnerable children and children with a disability. Following advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, most P-10 students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will today begin learning remotely and continue until at least 19 August. These arrangements will significantly reduce the movement of more than 700,000 students, as well as their parents and carers, across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. Government school students will continue to receive the technical support they need, students without access to a tablet or laptop will be loaned one by their school or the Department of Education and Training. During the last period of remote learning, more than 61,000 laptops and tablets and 23,000 SIM cards and dongles were loaned to students. Schools will continue to provide multiple entry points and staggered drop-off and pick-ups where necessary, to reduce the number of adults around school grounds at any one time. Schools will also continue to implement physical distancing and cleaning measures for the safety of their staff. The Government has already invested $45 million for enhanced daily cleaning in government schools, which will continue throughout Term 3. Daily temperature checks have also been introduced for students at government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Returning to flexible and remote learning will limit the movement of more than 700,000 students, their parents and carers, and help slow the spread of coronavirus.” “We have over a million Victorian-made masks on the way and we will take steps to ensure every student has access to a face covering if they’re learning onsite.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We know this is will be a challenging time for many families, but we will support our students, our teachers and our school communities every step of the way.” “Teachers, parents and school communities showed already this year they are up to the challenge of remote and flexible learning, and I have faith that we will be able to do it again – together.”   Download the Media Release (200 KB)

Face Coverings And Masks For Metro Schools

Schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be one of the first priority areas to receive reusable face masks in coming weeks as remote learning returns. The Victorian Government has placed orders for 1.37 million reusable fabric masks from five Victorian manufacturers. These orders will be delivered across July and August. The manufacturers are companies Nobody Denim, StylePrint, NMBQ, The Ark and The Mask Project – supporting local jobs while keeping Victorians safe. Further orders will be placed as needed. All students aged 12 and over and staff who are attending school in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be required to wear a face covering or mask when at school from Thursday, 23 July. Masks will not be mandatory for teachers while they are teaching students but should be worn at other times. Specialist schools and primary schools are exempt from this rule. The Department of Education of Training will be one of the first to receive the reusable masks and will provide them to students if they are unable to access one from home. However, it is expected most students will provide their own face covering and mask. Reusable masks will also be available for staff and will be provided to both government and non-government schools. 23 million single use masks have also been ordered and will be distributed while the reusable masks are made. Around 500,000 have already been provided to DHHS for public housing tower tenants and 1,200,000 single use masks to the Department of Education and Training for use in schools. Senior secondary students will this week continue learning on-site across the state, together with other students who are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made – including children whose parents cannot work from home, vulnerable children and children with a disability. Following advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, most P-10 students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will today begin learning remotely and continue until at least 19 August. These arrangements will significantly reduce the movement of more than 700,000 students, as well as their parents and carers, across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. Government school students will continue to receive the technical support they need, students without access to a tablet or laptop will be loaned one by their school or the Department of Education and Training. During the last period of remote learning, more than 61,000 laptops and tablets and 23,000 SIM cards and dongles were loaned to students. Schools will continue to provide multiple entry points and staggered drop-off and pick-ups where necessary, to reduce the number of adults around school grounds at any one time. Schools will also continue to implement physical distancing and cleaning measures for the safety of their staff. The Government has already invested $45 million for enhanced daily cleaning in government schools, which will continue throughout Term 3. Daily temperature checks have also been introduced for students at government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Returning to flexible and remote learning will limit the movement of more than 700,000 students, their parents and carers, and help slow the spread of coronavirus.” “We have over a million Victorian-made masks on the way and we will take steps to ensure every student has access to a face covering if they’re learning onsite.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We know this is will be a challenging time for many families, but we will support our students, our teachers and our school communities every step of the way.” “Teachers, parents and school communities showed already this year they are up to the challenge of remote and flexible learning, and I have faith that we will be able to do it again – together.”   Download the Media Release (200 KB)

Return To Flexible And Remote Learning

Most students in Victorian schools in areas under Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions will return to flexible and remote learning for the start of Term 3, limiting the number of people moving across our state to help slow the spread of coronavirus. On the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, students in Prep to Year 10 at government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will learn from home from Monday 20 July until at least 19 August, following five pupil free days already scheduled for the coming week. Onsite supervision will be available for students when they are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made – including children whose parents cannot work from home, vulnerable children and children with a disability. These arrangements will significantly reduce the movement of more than 700,000 students, as well as their parents and guardians, across metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to help slow the spread of the virus. Recognising the need to minimise disruption to Year 11 and 12, these students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will return to face-to-face learning from Monday 13 July, as will Year 10 students attending schools for VCE or VCAL classes. We also understand that remote learning can be an even greater challenge for parents of kids with special needs so all government specialist schools will also resume face to face learning on Monday, 13 July. All students in regional and rural Victoria, except the Mitchell Shire, will return to onsite learning as normal from Monday 13 July. Schools will continue to provide multiple entry points and staggered drop-off and pick-ups where necessary, to reduce the number of adults around school grounds at any one time. Schools will also continue to implement physical distancing and cleaning measures for the safety of their staff. The Government has already invested up to $45 million in enhanced daily cleaning in government schools, which will continue throughout Term 3. Those teachers not involved in onsite teaching next week will prepare for a return to remote and flexible learning and teaching, and provide a program of care and supervision for those students whose parents and carers cannot work from home and vulnerable students. To help our kids work though any mental health challenges they face due to the coronavirus pandemic, a range of wellbeing resources for students, parents and teachers will be introduced. The resources include simple wellbeing activities, and video tips developed in partnership with the Melbourne Football Club. Smiling Mind will also produce resources for senior secondary students to support their mental health and wellbeing. These resources complement the existing mental health and wellbeing support available to all Victorian government school kids. Secondary school students can access counselling via a voice call or video conference through the headspace counselling partnership or via their school-based mental health practitioner. Early childhood education and care services can continue to operate, in line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. Eligible not-for-profit sessional kindergarten services in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be offered extra funding to enable them to provide free kinder to children during Term 3. The Victorian Government will offer funding of $460 for each eligible child enrolled in a funded kindergarten program within metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. For all eligible not-for-profit sessional kindergarten services outside of these areas, funding of $230 per eligible child will be offered. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Keeping kids home from school was a vital part of slowing the spread of coronavirus before, and it will be vital to our efforts again.” “As a father of three school-aged kids I know it won’t be easy for many parents, but we have to slow the spread of coronavirus to protect students, teachers and all Victorians.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I know a return to flexible and remote learning will be a challenge for many, but I am sure our principals, teachers, support staff, students and families will once again do us proud.”   Download the Media Release (250 KB)

Return To Flexible And Remote Learning

Most students in Victorian schools in areas under Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions will return to flexible and remote learning for the start of Term 3, limiting the number of people moving across our state to help slow the spread of coronavirus. On the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, students in Prep to Year 10 at government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will learn from home from Monday 20 July until at least 19 August, following five pupil free days already scheduled for the coming week. Onsite supervision will be available for students when they are not able to be supervised at home and no other arrangements can be made – including children whose parents cannot work from home, vulnerable children and children with a disability. These arrangements will significantly reduce the movement of more than 700,000 students, as well as their parents and guardians, across metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to help slow the spread of the virus. Recognising the need to minimise disruption to Year 11 and 12, these students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will return to face-to-face learning from Monday 13 July, as will Year 10 students attending schools for VCE or VCAL classes. We also understand that remote learning can be an even greater challenge for parents of kids with special needs so all government specialist schools will also resume face to face learning on Monday, 13 July. All students in regional and rural Victoria, except the Mitchell Shire, will return to onsite learning as normal from Monday 13 July. Schools will continue to provide multiple entry points and staggered drop-off and pick-ups where necessary, to reduce the number of adults around school grounds at any one time. Schools will also continue to implement physical distancing and cleaning measures for the safety of their staff. The Government has already invested up to $45 million in enhanced daily cleaning in government schools, which will continue throughout Term 3. Those teachers not involved in onsite teaching next week will prepare for a return to remote and flexible learning and teaching, and provide a program of care and supervision for those students whose parents and carers cannot work from home and vulnerable students. To help our kids work though any mental health challenges they face due to the coronavirus pandemic, a range of wellbeing resources for students, parents and teachers will be introduced. The resources include simple wellbeing activities, and video tips developed in partnership with the Melbourne Football Club. Smiling Mind will also produce resources for senior secondary students to support their mental health and wellbeing. These resources complement the existing mental health and wellbeing support available to all Victorian government school kids. Secondary school students can access counselling via a voice call or video conference through the headspace counselling partnership or via their school-based mental health practitioner. Early childhood education and care services can continue to operate, in line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. Eligible not-for-profit sessional kindergarten services in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be offered extra funding to enable them to provide free kinder to children during Term 3. The Victorian Government will offer funding of $460 for each eligible child enrolled in a funded kindergarten program within metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. For all eligible not-for-profit sessional kindergarten services outside of these areas, funding of $230 per eligible child will be offered. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Keeping kids home from school was a vital part of slowing the spread of coronavirus before, and it will be vital to our efforts again.” “As a father of three school-aged kids I know it won’t be easy for many parents, but we have to slow the spread of coronavirus to protect students, teachers and all Victorians.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I know a return to flexible and remote learning will be a challenge for many, but I am sure our principals, teachers, support staff, students and families will once again do us proud.”   Download the Media Release (250 KB)

SURVEY SHOWS LOCAL SUPPORT FOR BELGRAVE STATION CAR PARK

An online community survey asking for feedback on a concept design for the new multi-deck car park at Belgrave Station shows that overall, local residents, traders and station users welcome the car park upgrade and want it delivered as soon as possible. The survey, which was available on the Department of Transport’s Get Involved website in April and May this year, asked the community to provide feedback on an updated concept design for the car park. In total 291 people responded, with almost three-quarters of these being local Belgrave residents. Feedback showed that people want to see improved traffic management in and around the car park and bus interchange, and better access in and out of the station precinct. Whilst people welcome the new parking spaces, they want the multi-deck to complement the area’s unique character and values, particularly its natural environment. Safety was also rated as highly important by survey respondents, with more than a third of people stating that security and lighting was the most important aspect of the design. The feedback received will be taken into account by architects and designers when putting together final designs for the car park, which include provision for 470 additional spaces. Planning approvals will now be sought for the upgrade. The car park is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to increasing car parking at stations to improve access to public transport. Since 2014 almost 10,000 parking spaces have been delivered at metropolitan and regional stations across the state, and the government is now delivering 11,000 more new and upgraded spaces. For more information and to see the full community engagement report visit victrack.com.au/belgrave Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier and Member for Monbulk James Merlino “These survey results show that local people are largely supportive of increasing car parking at Belgrave Station, and want the upgrade to be delivered as soon as possible to help them access public transport more easily.” “I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey and give their feedback on the car park designs.” Media Contact: Matthew Dixon 0438 190 148 | Matthew.Dixon@minstaff.vic.gov.au

SURVEY SHOWS LOCAL SUPPORT FOR BELGRAVE STATION CAR PARK

An online community survey asking for feedback on a concept design for the new multi-deck car park at Belgrave Station shows that overall, local residents, traders and station users welcome the car park upgrade and want it delivered as soon as possible. The survey, which was available on the Department of Transport’s Get Involved website in April and May this year, asked the community to provide feedback on an updated concept design for the car park. In total 291 people responded, with almost three-quarters of these being local Belgrave residents. Feedback showed that people want to see improved traffic management in and around the car park and bus interchange, and better access in and out of the station precinct. Whilst people welcome the new parking spaces, they want the multi-deck to complement the area’s unique character and values, particularly its natural environment. Safety was also rated as highly important by survey respondents, with more than a third of people stating that security and lighting was the most important aspect of the design. The feedback received will be taken into account by architects and designers when putting together final designs for the car park, which include provision for 470 additional spaces. Planning approvals will now be sought for the upgrade. The car park is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to increasing car parking at stations to improve access to public transport. Since 2014 almost 10,000 parking spaces have been delivered at metropolitan and regional stations across the state, and the government is now delivering 11,000 more new and upgraded spaces. For more information and to see the full community engagement report visit victrack.com.au/belgrave Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier and Member for Monbulk James Merlino “These survey results show that local people are largely supportive of increasing car parking at Belgrave Station, and want the upgrade to be delivered as soon as possible to help them access public transport more easily.” “I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey and give their feedback on the car park designs.” Media Contact: Matthew Dixon 0438 190 148 | Matthew.Dixon@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Temperature Checks To Be Introduced In Term 3

Daily temperature checks will be introduced in schools across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire as part of the Victorian Government’s effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. Following the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has today announced that students at government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will receive a temperature check every morning, with thermometers also provided to all non-government schools. More than 14,000 non-contact infrared thermometers will be given to government, independent and Catholic schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, and to schools in neighbouring areas who need to undertake testing. The Government will also provide thermometers to those early childhood education and care services who require them. Temperature checks will also be introduced for children from metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire who attend schools outside of these LGAs. Operational guidance on temperature checks will be delivered to schools. If a student has a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or above, schools will be required to contact parents or carers to arrange for students to return home. Families will then be encouraged to seek testing for coronavirus or the advice of their healthcare professional who can advise on next steps. As announced on Tuesday, students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire enrolled in VCE and VCAL subjects, students whose parents and carers cannot work from home, and those attending local specialist schools will all return to school on Monday. In addition, on site supervised holiday programs are available next week for vulnerable students and children of essential workers. Schools in these areas will delay the return from holidays by a week with five pupil free days for Prep to Year 10 students next week to allow our teachers and school staff to prepare for a possible return to remote learning. A decision about whether these year groups can safely return to face-to-face learning will be taken in the coming week and based on the advice of our health experts. There will be no changes to Term 3 for schools in regional Victoria other than Mitchell Shire. Schools outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will return to face-to-face schooling as scheduled on Monday 13 July. The Government has invested up to $45 million in enhanced daily cleaning in schools and this will continue throughout Term 3. Schools will continue to provide multiple entry points and staggered drop-off and pick-ups where necessary, to reduce the number of adults gathering around school grounds at any one time. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “As we follow the advice of our health experts, we’re also making sure vulnerable students and those in the final stages of their education remain engaged in face-to-face learning.” “Daily temperature checks will help make sure unwell students stay at home and do not risk spreading coronavirus.” “I understand that this is a stressful time for parents, but we are following the best medical advice and taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety of all Victorians.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

Temperature Checks To Be Introduced In Term 3

Daily temperature checks will be introduced in schools across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire as part of the Victorian Government’s effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. Following the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has today announced that students at government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will receive a temperature check every morning, with thermometers also provided to all non-government schools. More than 14,000 non-contact infrared thermometers will be given to government, independent and Catholic schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, and to schools in neighbouring areas who need to undertake testing. The Government will also provide thermometers to those early childhood education and care services who require them. Temperature checks will also be introduced for children from metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire who attend schools outside of these LGAs. Operational guidance on temperature checks will be delivered to schools. If a student has a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or above, schools will be required to contact parents or carers to arrange for students to return home. Families will then be encouraged to seek testing for coronavirus or the advice of their healthcare professional who can advise on next steps. As announced on Tuesday, students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire enrolled in VCE and VCAL subjects, students whose parents and carers cannot work from home, and those attending local specialist schools will all return to school on Monday. In addition, on site supervised holiday programs are available next week for vulnerable students and children of essential workers. Schools in these areas will delay the return from holidays by a week with five pupil free days for Prep to Year 10 students next week to allow our teachers and school staff to prepare for a possible return to remote learning. A decision about whether these year groups can safely return to face-to-face learning will be taken in the coming week and based on the advice of our health experts. There will be no changes to Term 3 for schools in regional Victoria other than Mitchell Shire. Schools outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will return to face-to-face schooling as scheduled on Monday 13 July. The Government has invested up to $45 million in enhanced daily cleaning in schools and this will continue throughout Term 3. Schools will continue to provide multiple entry points and staggered drop-off and pick-ups where necessary, to reduce the number of adults gathering around school grounds at any one time. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “As we follow the advice of our health experts, we’re also making sure vulnerable students and those in the final stages of their education remain engaged in face-to-face learning.” “Daily temperature checks will help make sure unwell students stay at home and do not risk spreading coronavirus.” “I understand that this is a stressful time for parents, but we are following the best medical advice and taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety of all Victorians.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

Mental Health Support For More Secondary Students

Secondary school students in Melbourne’s north-west and the Central Highlands will soon have access to the school-based mental health support they need, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that more schools across Victoria will receive support under the Mental Health Practitioners initiative which is aimed at improving mental health outcomes for students in Victorian secondary schools. The $51.2 million initiative, which started in July last year, has so far provided funding for 120 secondary school campuses to recruit a suitably qualified mental health professional, with a further 32 secondary school campuses in Hume Moreland and Central Highlands to receive funding in Term 3 and 69 secondary school campuses in Melbourne’s south and west in Term 4. Once fully rolled out, the initiative will see suitably qualified mental health professionals in every government secondary school campus across the state, including psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and mental health nurses. Mental health practitioners offer counselling and early intervention services, and act as coordinating support for students with complex needs, linking them with broader allied community and health services. All government secondary schools will receive between one and five days a week of support from a mental health practitioner depending on its size and requirements. This builds on the $65.5 million investment in student health and wellbeing initiatives in schools, including the Victorian Anti-Bullying and Mental Health Initiative, the School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support program, as well as increased investment in allied health and nursing services. The Victorian Government established a landmark Royal Commission into Mental Health and will implement every one of its recommendations. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Too many young people experience mental health challenges – this will make it easier for people to access the support they need.”  “We know that when our kids are happy and well supported, they can focus on their learning and have the best opportunity to succeed in education and excel in life.” Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley “We will implement every recommendation of the landmark Royal Commission into Mental Health and keep delivering practical support that Victorians need now.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

Mental Health Support For More Secondary Students

Secondary school students in Melbourne’s north-west and the Central Highlands will soon have access to the school-based mental health support they need, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that more schools across Victoria will receive support under the Mental Health Practitioners initiative which is aimed at improving mental health outcomes for students in Victorian secondary schools. The $51.2 million initiative, which started in July last year, has so far provided funding for 120 secondary school campuses to recruit a suitably qualified mental health professional, with a further 32 secondary school campuses in Hume Moreland and Central Highlands to receive funding in Term 3 and 69 secondary school campuses in Melbourne’s south and west in Term 4. Once fully rolled out, the initiative will see suitably qualified mental health professionals in every government secondary school campus across the state, including psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and mental health nurses. Mental health practitioners offer counselling and early intervention services, and act as coordinating support for students with complex needs, linking them with broader allied community and health services. All government secondary schools will receive between one and five days a week of support from a mental health practitioner depending on its size and requirements. This builds on the $65.5 million investment in student health and wellbeing initiatives in schools, including the Victorian Anti-Bullying and Mental Health Initiative, the School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support program, as well as increased investment in allied health and nursing services. The Victorian Government established a landmark Royal Commission into Mental Health and will implement every one of its recommendations. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Too many young people experience mental health challenges – this will make it easier for people to access the support they need.”  “We know that when our kids are happy and well supported, they can focus on their learning and have the best opportunity to succeed in education and excel in life.” Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley “We will implement every recommendation of the landmark Royal Commission into Mental Health and keep delivering practical support that Victorians need now.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

School Building Boom Continues Across Victoria

Families in Victoria’s fastest growing areas are a step closer to getting the state-of-the-art schools they deserve, with the appointment of new principals at all 14 schools opening in 2021 and commencement of community consultation to name the new schools. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the site of the new Docklands Primary School (interim name) with newly appointed foundation principal, Adam Bright, to inspect works on the three-storey vertical school. Construction is well underway ahead of it opening next year, with internal works having recently started. The exceptional new school will cater for 525 students and include modern classrooms, a library, music and arts rooms, a competition-grade indoor court for basketball and netball and outdoor learning terraces. An on-site early learning centre with two kindergarten rooms and 66 kindergarten places will also be included. It is one of 14 new schools and campuses opening next year across Cardinia, Casey, Greater Geelong, Hume, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Melton, Whittlesea and Wyndham. Consultation today opened for the naming of the new schools, with the Andrews Labor Government seeking the community’s input to help find a name for each school that reflects its unique identity, inspires local pride and that makes the school easily locatable. The consultation period will run until 15 July. To have their say, community members can visit engage.vic.gov.au/2021-school-naming The foundation principals have now been appointed for all new schools and will select talented and committed staff and build relationships with local families and the community. The Labor Government is investing an unprecedented $7.2 billion in Victorian school infrastructure, which is delivering more than 1,460 school upgrades and 100 new schools by 2026. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Right across the state we’re building new schools so every child has the chance to get a great education, no matter where they live.” “We’ve now appointed the foundation principals for all new schools opening next year and I’m excited to see how these schools take shape.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Nazih Elasmar “Modern and innovative schools like Docklands Primary School and others across the state will give families access to the first-rate school facilities they deserve.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

School Building Boom Continues Across Victoria

Families in Victoria’s fastest growing areas are a step closer to getting the state-of-the-art schools they deserve, with the appointment of new principals at all 14 schools opening in 2021 and commencement of community consultation to name the new schools. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the site of the new Docklands Primary School (interim name) with newly appointed foundation principal, Adam Bright, to inspect works on the three-storey vertical school. Construction is well underway ahead of it opening next year, with internal works having recently started. The exceptional new school will cater for 525 students and include modern classrooms, a library, music and arts rooms, a competition-grade indoor court for basketball and netball and outdoor learning terraces. An on-site early learning centre with two kindergarten rooms and 66 kindergarten places will also be included. It is one of 14 new schools and campuses opening next year across Cardinia, Casey, Greater Geelong, Hume, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Melton, Whittlesea and Wyndham. Consultation today opened for the naming of the new schools, with the Andrews Labor Government seeking the community’s input to help find a name for each school that reflects its unique identity, inspires local pride and that makes the school easily locatable. The consultation period will run until 15 July. To have their say, community members can visit engage.vic.gov.au/2021-school-naming The foundation principals have now been appointed for all new schools and will select talented and committed staff and build relationships with local families and the community. The Labor Government is investing an unprecedented $7.2 billion in Victorian school infrastructure, which is delivering more than 1,460 school upgrades and 100 new schools by 2026. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Right across the state we’re building new schools so every child has the chance to get a great education, no matter where they live.” “We’ve now appointed the foundation principals for all new schools opening next year and I’m excited to see how these schools take shape.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Nazih Elasmar “Modern and innovative schools like Docklands Primary School and others across the state will give families access to the first-rate school facilities they deserve.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

Keeping Sessional Kinder Fees Low For Term 3

The Andrews Labor Government will continue to reduce the cost of sessional kindergarten for families and provide kinders with extra cleaning for all of Term 3 as part of a $45 million support package during the coronavirus pandemic. Minister for Education James Merlino announced the funding will provide $230 per child for Term 3, which is expected to save parents approximately half the cost of average kindergarten fees. This will mean that on average families will only pay $23 a week for sessional kindergarten in Term 3. These programs will also remain free for those who have a Commonwealth Health Care Card, identify as Aboriginal, or hold a refugee or asylum seeker visa under the existing Kindergarten Fee Subsidy program This reduced-fee kinder program will be available for community-based, local government and school providers that are offering funded sessional programs and are not covered by the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper program. A second round of cleaning grants will also be provided to all early childhood services delivering a funded kinder program to boost their cleaning and hygiene, including $900 grants for services with less than 50 enrolments and $1,500 for those with 50 or more enrolments. Service providers will have flexibility in how to use this funding as long as it is spent on meeting the enhanced cleaning and hygiene required during this pandemic. The Labor Government announced free kinder for Term 2 to give sessional kinder services funding certainty during a time they saw a significant decline in enrolment numbers. Attendances are now building back to normal levels, and this additional support will assist with re-establishing full attendance in Term 3. Early childhood education and care services are continuing to operate, in line with advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. Further guidance on measures to maintain the health and safety of children and staff can be found on the DHHS website. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re saving families hundreds of dollars and ensuring Victorian children can go to kinder and receive the crucial early childhood education they deserve.” “While early childhood staff are doing a brilliant job supporting children and their families, we’re providing kinder services with extra funding to help maintain high standards of cleaning and hygiene.” Download the Media Release (213 KB)

Keeping Sessional Kinder Fees Low For Term 3

The Andrews Labor Government will continue to reduce the cost of sessional kindergarten for families and provide kinders with extra cleaning for all of Term 3 as part of a $45 million support package during the coronavirus pandemic. Minister for Education James Merlino announced the funding will provide $230 per child for Term 3, which is expected to save parents approximately half the cost of average kindergarten fees. This will mean that on average families will only pay $23 a week for sessional kindergarten in Term 3. These programs will also remain free for those who have a Commonwealth Health Care Card, identify as Aboriginal, or hold a refugee or asylum seeker visa under the existing Kindergarten Fee Subsidy program This reduced-fee kinder program will be available for community-based, local government and school providers that are offering funded sessional programs and are not covered by the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper program. A second round of cleaning grants will also be provided to all early childhood services delivering a funded kinder program to boost their cleaning and hygiene, including $900 grants for services with less than 50 enrolments and $1,500 for those with 50 or more enrolments. Service providers will have flexibility in how to use this funding as long as it is spent on meeting the enhanced cleaning and hygiene required during this pandemic. The Labor Government announced free kinder for Term 2 to give sessional kinder services funding certainty during a time they saw a significant decline in enrolment numbers. Attendances are now building back to normal levels, and this additional support will assist with re-establishing full attendance in Term 3. Early childhood education and care services are continuing to operate, in line with advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. Further guidance on measures to maintain the health and safety of children and staff can be found on the DHHS website. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re saving families hundreds of dollars and ensuring Victorian children can go to kinder and receive the crucial early childhood education they deserve.” “While early childhood staff are doing a brilliant job supporting children and their families, we’re providing kinder services with extra funding to help maintain high standards of cleaning and hygiene.” Download the Media Release (213 KB)

 

Applications Open For Greener Government School Buildings

The Andrews Labor Government will put solar panels on government schools, helping them become more environmentally sustainable and reduce electricity costs. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened applications for the Greener Government School Buildings program to install solar panels systems at Victorian government schools. Applications are now open to all government schools to fund a system at their school, with projects expected to be completed by mid-2021. The Greener Government School Buildings program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at schools and to upgrade school facilities to become more energy efficient and sustainable. Solar panels are strategic investments that will pay for themselves within a few years. This program will remove the upfront costs of installing a system that may otherwise discourage schools from pursuing this option. The Greener Government School Buildings program follows the success of a pilot program rolled out across 42 schools in 2019. By October 2020, the solar panels installed in schools as part of the pilot will have generated more than 1,300 megawatts of electricity, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,600 tonnes and saved schools more than $300,000 in electricity bills. Schools can apply for a solar panel system at www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au. Applications close on 7 August. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re taking action to make our schools more sustainable and more energy efficient.” “Not only will the environment benefit from this program – installing solar panel systems will help reduce power bills for our schools.” Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “This program is another practical way we are helping reduce emissions and do our bit for the environment.” Download the Media Release (209 KB)

Applications Open For Greener Government School Buildings

The Andrews Labor Government will put solar panels on government schools, helping them become more environmentally sustainable and reduce electricity costs. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened applications for the Greener Government School Buildings program to install solar panels systems at Victorian government schools. Applications are now open to all government schools to fund a system at their school, with projects expected to be completed by mid-2021. The Greener Government School Buildings program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at schools and to upgrade school facilities to become more energy efficient and sustainable. Solar panels are strategic investments that will pay for themselves within a few years. This program will remove the upfront costs of installing a system that may otherwise discourage schools from pursuing this option. The Greener Government School Buildings program follows the success of a pilot program rolled out across 42 schools in 2019. By October 2020, the solar panels installed in schools as part of the pilot will have generated more than 1,300 megawatts of electricity, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,600 tonnes and saved schools more than $300,000 in electricity bills. Schools can apply for a solar panel system at www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au. Applications close on 7 August. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re taking action to make our schools more sustainable and more energy efficient.” “Not only will the environment benefit from this program – installing solar panel systems will help reduce power bills for our schools.” Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “This program is another practical way we are helping reduce emissions and do our bit for the environment.” Download the Media Release (209 KB)

More Support For Victorian Parents

Victorian parents and carers now have access to additional evidence-based practical advice and ideas to help their children’s learning, development and wellbeing. Parents of two-year-old and three-year-old children can sign up to Play Learn Grow, a free and new evidence-based program developed in collaboration with parenting experts. Minister for Education James Merlino announced the Victorian Government is investing up to $400,000 to extend a successful trial, which ran from January this year, to make Play Learn Grow available for more Victorian families. Participants who sign up to the free program receive three text messages a week with information and activities they can do with their children at home. The program has been developed by leading early childhood experts including the Parenting Research Centre and follows successful trials overseas. It also supports parent and carer wellbeing as they balance a range of commitments while supporting their child. Play Learn Grow is a time-limited program that will run over the coming months. Parents and carers can sign up now by visiting www.parenting.vic.gov.au/playlearngrow. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. That’s why, in an Australian-first, the Victorian Government is also investing almost $5 billion over this decade to deliver universally funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, with the roll-out starting this year. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Play Learn Grow gives parents the advice and resources they need to support their child’slearning, development and wellbeing.” “The trial has shown that a program like this can be useful for parents and that is why we are expanding it to enable more parents to see the benefits.” Download the Media Release (203 KB)

More Support For Victorian Parents

Victorian parents and carers now have access to additional evidence-based practical advice and ideas to help their children’s learning, development and wellbeing. Parents of two-year-old and three-year-old children can sign up to Play Learn Grow, a free and new evidence-based program developed in collaboration with parenting experts. Minister for Education James Merlino announced the Victorian Government is investing up to $400,000 to extend a successful trial, which ran from January this year, to make Play Learn Grow available for more Victorian families. Participants who sign up to the free program receive three text messages a week with information and activities they can do with their children at home. The program has been developed by leading early childhood experts including the Parenting Research Centre and follows successful trials overseas. It also supports parent and carer wellbeing as they balance a range of commitments while supporting their child. Play Learn Grow is a time-limited program that will run over the coming months. Parents and carers can sign up now by visiting www.parenting.vic.gov.au/playlearngrow. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. That’s why, in an Australian-first, the Victorian Government is also investing almost $5 billion over this decade to deliver universally funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, with the roll-out starting this year. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Play Learn Grow gives parents the advice and resources they need to support their child’slearning, development and wellbeing.” “The trial has shown that a program like this can be useful for parents and that is why we are expanding it to enable more parents to see the benefits.” Download the Media Release (203 KB)

Fitzroy Gasworks School Campus A Step Closer For Families

Families in Melbourne’s inner north are a step closer to having a new senior secondary college campus. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Richmond Richard Wynne today released designs of the new Fitzroy Gasworks School’s façade and announced early site works are now underway. The campus will accommodate senior students from Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College and is one of 14 new schools and campuses set to open in 2022 under the Andrews Labor Government’s school building boom. This school will be one of seven vertical schools being rolled out by the Labor Government since 2017 which include Docklands Primary School, Fishermans Bend Secondary School, Prahran High School, Richmond High School, South Melbourne Primary School, and a new campus for McKinnon Secondary College. Watpac Construction has been appointed to build the new campus with construction to start in the next few months. Once complete, it will include state-of-the-art learning spaces, an arts and performance space, a digital design and technology hub, a wood and metal workspace, indoor sports courts, and a rooftop terrace outdoor court and activity space. The Fitzroy Gasworks is an important part of Fitzroy North’s heritage – with the school campus part of plans to re-energise the former industrial site. The Gasworks site will serve the community well due to its proximity to public transport, open space and established community facilities. The Labor Government’s vision for the site is an urban village that includes a school campus, new housing, and open space with the local community closely involved in planning to help deliver the best outcome for the site and neighbourhood. Under the Labor Government’s school building boom, a total of 100 new schools will open by 2026, ensuring every child can access a great local school where students can achieve their best. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a great education. For more information visit: schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This new campus is yet another great example of the school building boom that is happening right across Victoria.” “We are building a world-class education system to make sure that every child, no matter where they live, can make the most out of school and get the best start in life.” Quote attributable to Member for Richmond Richard Wynne “This new senior school campus will revitalise the local area and ensure local students get the best quality education.” Download the Media Release (211 KB)

Fitzroy Gasworks School Campus A Step Closer For Families

Families in Melbourne’s inner north are a step closer to having a new senior secondary college campus. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Richmond Richard Wynne today released designs of the new Fitzroy Gasworks School’s façade and announced early site works are now underway. The campus will accommodate senior students from Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College and is one of 14 new schools and campuses set to open in 2022 under the Andrews Labor Government’s school building boom. This school will be one of seven vertical schools being rolled out by the Labor Government since 2017 which include Docklands Primary School, Fishermans Bend Secondary School, Prahran High School, Richmond High School, South Melbourne Primary School, and a new campus for McKinnon Secondary College. Watpac Construction has been appointed to build the new campus with construction to start in the next few months. Once complete, it will include state-of-the-art learning spaces, an arts and performance space, a digital design and technology hub, a wood and metal workspace, indoor sports courts, and a rooftop terrace outdoor court and activity space. The Fitzroy Gasworks is an important part of Fitzroy North’s heritage – with the school campus part of plans to re-energise the former industrial site. The Gasworks site will serve the community well due to its proximity to public transport, open space and established community facilities. The Labor Government’s vision for the site is an urban village that includes a school campus, new housing, and open space with the local community closely involved in planning to help deliver the best outcome for the site and neighbourhood. Under the Labor Government’s school building boom, a total of 100 new schools will open by 2026, ensuring every child can access a great local school where students can achieve their best. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a great education. For more information visit: schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This new campus is yet another great example of the school building boom that is happening right across Victoria.” “We are building a world-class education system to make sure that every child, no matter where they live, can make the most out of school and get the best start in life.” Quote attributable to Member for Richmond Richard Wynne “This new senior school campus will revitalise the local area and ensure local students get the best quality education.” Download the Media Release (211 KB)

All Students Back In The Classroom

Schools across Victoria are today welcoming back around 618,000 students in Years 3 to 10 as part of the final step of returning to face-to-face teaching and learning. Around 389,000 government school students are returning to school today, along with approximately 229,000 students from independent and Catholic schools. The staged return to school has allowed the Chief Health Officer to monitor the effects on the increased movement of people and transmission of coronavirus within the community. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced schools that will be able to apply for a new $20 million Minor Capital Works Fund which will fund shovel-ready projects at government schools across Victoria. Schools can now apply for grants of up to $500,000 to modernise and improve learning spaces and boost the condition and character of the school. Examples of eligible projects include upgrades to classrooms, sports ovals and toilets as well as the installation of new playground equipment, bike sheds, fencing and basketball and netball rings. The fund is part of the more than $2.7 billion Building Works package recently announced by the Victorian Government which included $1.18 billion for the education infrastructure construction and will create jobs for Victorians. With face-to-face learning resuming, schools have implemented staggered drop-off and pick-ups to reduce the number of adults around school grounds at any one time, as well as staggered break times to manage the number of students mixing across year levels. All schools will implement physical distancing measures for their staff, and school staff have been prioritised for voluntary coronavirus testing in the lead-up to today’s return to on-site schooling. The Victorian Government is also investing up to $45 million for increased daily cleaning at every government school for the rest of Term 2 and 3. The Victorian Government recently announced that a summit will be held to discuss lessons learnt and investigate what improvements can be made to the education system after the experience of remote and flexible learning. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Going back to the classroom will be a welcome change for students, teachers and families who have all done an excellent job while students learnt from home.” “Having students learning from home has made a significant contribution to slowing the spread of coronavirus in our community and helped save lives.” “This extra infrastructure funding will mean even more local schools will share in the largest investment in school infrastructure in Victoria’s history.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

All Students Back In The Classroom

Schools across Victoria are today welcoming back around 618,000 students in Years 3 to 10 as part of the final step of returning to face-to-face teaching and learning. Around 389,000 government school students are returning to school today, along with approximately 229,000 students from independent and Catholic schools. The staged return to school has allowed the Chief Health Officer to monitor the effects on the increased movement of people and transmission of coronavirus within the community. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced schools that will be able to apply for a new $20 million Minor Capital Works Fund which will fund shovel-ready projects at government schools across Victoria. Schools can now apply for grants of up to $500,000 to modernise and improve learning spaces and boost the condition and character of the school. Examples of eligible projects include upgrades to classrooms, sports ovals and toilets as well as the installation of new playground equipment, bike sheds, fencing and basketball and netball rings. The fund is part of the more than $2.7 billion Building Works package recently announced by the Victorian Government which included $1.18 billion for the education infrastructure construction and will create jobs for Victorians. With face-to-face learning resuming, schools have implemented staggered drop-off and pick-ups to reduce the number of adults around school grounds at any one time, as well as staggered break times to manage the number of students mixing across year levels. All schools will implement physical distancing measures for their staff, and school staff have been prioritised for voluntary coronavirus testing in the lead-up to today’s return to on-site schooling. The Victorian Government is also investing up to $45 million for increased daily cleaning at every government school for the rest of Term 2 and 3. The Victorian Government recently announced that a summit will be held to discuss lessons learnt and investigate what improvements can be made to the education system after the experience of remote and flexible learning. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Going back to the classroom will be a welcome change for students, teachers and families who have all done an excellent job while students learnt from home.” “Having students learning from home has made a significant contribution to slowing the spread of coronavirus in our community and helped save lives.” “This extra infrastructure funding will mean even more local schools will share in the largest investment in school infrastructure in Victoria’s history.” Download the Media Release (214 KB)

Have Your Say On Remote And Flexible Learning

Principals, teachers, parents and students are being encouraged to have their say on remote and flexible learning, to gain insights into how our education system can be improved from this unprecedented experience. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened a community consultation survey ahead of a summit, to be held in July, to discuss lessons learnt and investigate what improvements can be made to the education system as a result of the remote teaching and learning period. The summit will be held in July to allow time for Victorians to contribute their experiences. The summit will follow an independent analysis of remote learning at schools across the state, and bring together education leaders from the government, Catholic and independent school sectors. Victorian government primary, secondary and specialist schools moved to remote and flexible learning and teaching at the start of Term 2 to slow the spread of coronavirus, following advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer. Parliamentary Secretary for Schools Tim Richardson and Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education Sonya Kilkenny are also producing reports on the remote learning experience. The community survey, independent analysis and the Parliamentary Secretary reports will all contribute to the findings from the summit. Students returned to school from 26 May, when around 391,000 Prep, Grade 1, Grade 2, specialist school students and VCE and VCAL students transitioned back to face-to-face learning, with Grade 3-Year 10 students returning to classrooms today. While remote learning presented challenges, a significant number of schools reported benefits during remote learning for students who have previously been disengaged or distracted in the classroom, and for high-ability students who have been able to learn at their own pace. Some students whose learning has been affected by anxiety or other mental health conditions have also shown significant benefits from remote learning. To have your say, visit: https://engage.vic.gov.au/lessons-remote-and-flexible-learning Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I encourage all Victorian teachers, students and their families to have their say. This is a real opportunity to improve our education system and learn from the remote teaching and learning experience.” “This summit will bring our school sectors together to report back about the benefits and challenges of remote learning.” “We know that there have been many positives from this experience, and we have a responsibility to learn from them.” Download the Media Release (207 KB)

Have Your Say On Remote And Flexible Learning

Principals, teachers, parents and students are being encouraged to have their say on remote and flexible learning, to gain insights into how our education system can be improved from this unprecedented experience. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened a community consultation survey ahead of a summit, to be held in July, to discuss lessons learnt and investigate what improvements can be made to the education system as a result of the remote teaching and learning period. The summit will be held in July to allow time for Victorians to contribute their experiences. The summit will follow an independent analysis of remote learning at schools across the state, and bring together education leaders from the government, Catholic and independent school sectors. Victorian government primary, secondary and specialist schools moved to remote and flexible learning and teaching at the start of Term 2 to slow the spread of coronavirus, following advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer. Parliamentary Secretary for Schools Tim Richardson and Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education Sonya Kilkenny are also producing reports on the remote learning experience. The community survey, independent analysis and the Parliamentary Secretary reports will all contribute to the findings from the summit. Students returned to school from 26 May, when around 391,000 Prep, Grade 1, Grade 2, specialist school students and VCE and VCAL students transitioned back to face-to-face learning, with Grade 3-Year 10 students returning to classrooms today. While remote learning presented challenges, a significant number of schools reported benefits during remote learning for students who have previously been disengaged or distracted in the classroom, and for high-ability students who have been able to learn at their own pace. Some students whose learning has been affected by anxiety or other mental health conditions have also shown significant benefits from remote learning. To have your say, visit: https://engage.vic.gov.au/lessons-remote-and-flexible-learning Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I encourage all Victorian teachers, students and their families to have their say. This is a real opportunity to improve our education system and learn from the remote teaching and learning experience.” “This summit will bring our school sectors together to report back about the benefits and challenges of remote learning.” “We know that there have been many positives from this experience, and we have a responsibility to learn from them.” Download the Media Release (207 KB)

Consultation Open On New Mallacoota Kindergarten

The local Mallacoota community are invited to have their say on the new kindergarten after the old building suffered significant damage during the bushfires. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett today opened community consultation to find out what the community wants in their new kindergarten. The Victorian Government has worked with East Gippsland Shire Council and Mallacoota P-12 College to develop two options – rebuilding the kindergarten on the existing Greer Street site, or creating a larger two-room modular facility at Mallacoota P-12 College. Both options include high-quality fit-for-purpose facilities with outdoor play spaces and landscaping. The Victorian Government has partnered with key stakeholders including the East Gippsland Shire Council, the service provider, the Parents Advisory Group and Mallacoota P-12 College to deliver the new kindergarten options. The Victorian Government has provided $2.5 million to establish or reinstate a purpose-built kindergarten building in Mallacoota, as soon as possible. Families at Mallacoota Kindergarten will also be eligible for a bushfire Kindergarten Fee Subsidy so local children can attend Four-Year-Old Kindergarten programs for free. Additional financial assistance has also been provided to the service to support the delivery of the kindergarten program, including replacing damaged toys and books and engaging additional staff. In an Australian-first, the Victorian Government has committed nearly $5 billion to deliver a full 15 hours of Three-Year-Old Kinder to every Victorian child over this decade, with the roll-out already underway. East Gippsland Shire will receive up to 15 hours of Three and Four-Year-Old Kinder from next year. The consultation period begins on Tuesday June 2 and will run until Tuesday June 16. Members of the community can have their say by visiting: engage.vic.gov.au/mallacoota-kindergarten-rebuild Community members can also complete the survey over the phone, or request a hard copy and a self-addressed envelope from the Victorian School Building Authority on 1800 896 950. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We want families and the local community to let us know what’s important to them in building the new Mallacoota kindergarten.”  “These bushfires have devastated many communities in Victoria and we’re doing everything we can to support our kinder-aged children and their families.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “Delivering a new kindergarten for Mallacoota will ensure local families can access good quality education in their community.” Download the Media Release (209 KB)

Consultation Open On New Mallacoota Kindergarten

The local Mallacoota community are invited to have their say on the new kindergarten after the old building suffered significant damage during the bushfires. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett today opened community consultation to find out what the community wants in their new kindergarten. The Victorian Government has worked with East Gippsland Shire Council and Mallacoota P-12 College to develop two options – rebuilding the kindergarten on the existing Greer Street site, or creating a larger two-room modular facility at Mallacoota P-12 College. Both options include high-quality fit-for-purpose facilities with outdoor play spaces and landscaping. The Victorian Government has partnered with key stakeholders including the East Gippsland Shire Council, the service provider, the Parents Advisory Group and Mallacoota P-12 College to deliver the new kindergarten options. The Victorian Government has provided $2.5 million to establish or reinstate a purpose-built kindergarten building in Mallacoota, as soon as possible. Families at Mallacoota Kindergarten will also be eligible for a bushfire Kindergarten Fee Subsidy so local children can attend Four-Year-Old Kindergarten programs for free. Additional financial assistance has also been provided to the service to support the delivery of the kindergarten program, including replacing damaged toys and books and engaging additional staff. In an Australian-first, the Victorian Government has committed nearly $5 billion to deliver a full 15 hours of Three-Year-Old Kinder to every Victorian child over this decade, with the roll-out already underway. East Gippsland Shire will receive up to 15 hours of Three and Four-Year-Old Kinder from next year. The consultation period begins on Tuesday June 2 and will run until Tuesday June 16. Members of the community can have their say by visiting: engage.vic.gov.au/mallacoota-kindergarten-rebuild Community members can also complete the survey over the phone, or request a hard copy and a self-addressed envelope from the Victorian School Building Authority on 1800 896 950. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We want families and the local community to let us know what’s important to them in building the new Mallacoota kindergarten.”  “These bushfires have devastated many communities in Victoria and we’re doing everything we can to support our kinder-aged children and their families.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “Delivering a new kindergarten for Mallacoota will ensure local families can access good quality education in their community.” Download the Media Release (209 KB)

Awards Recognise Victoria’s Early Years Professionals

Victorians are encouraged to recognise the outstanding work of early years professionals in improving the lives of young children by nominating an individual or organisation for a Victorian Early Years Award. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced nominations for this year’s awards are open, and called on families, early childhood professionals and early years organisations to nominate themselves or others. Now in their 15th year, the Victorian Early Years Awards recognise, reward and celebrate individuals and organisations, and highlight those taking action to improve outcomes within the early years sector. In 2020, the awards celebrate the achievements and commitment of early childhood professionals across seven award categories, including improving access and participation, supporting parents and promoting children’s health and wellbeing, as well as the prestigious Early Childhood Teacher of the Year. Award winners receive up to $15,000 to further develop and share the lessons of their exceptional work in kindergartens, schools, local councils, maternal child and health services and other early years organisations across the state. Early childhood education and care has never been more important than it is now, during the coronavirus pandemic. Services are continuing to operate to support Victorian children and families during this challenging time. In an Australian first, the Victorian Government is investing almost $5 billion over this decade to deliver universally funded Three-Year-Old-Kindergarten. Nominations for the awards close on Monday 6 July, with finalists announced in September ahead of the awards ceremony expected to be held in November. For more information or to submit a nomination, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/veya Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria is home to many passionate early years professionals, and exceptional early years services – these awards are about giving them the recognition they deserve.” “This year’s Victorian Early Years Awards are the perfect opportunity to celebrate the people, organisations and services that help Victorian children to get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (209 KB)

Awards Recognise Victoria’s Early Years Professionals

Victorians are encouraged to recognise the outstanding work of early years professionals in improving the lives of young children by nominating an individual or organisation for a Victorian Early Years Award. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced nominations for this year’s awards are open, and called on families, early childhood professionals and early years organisations to nominate themselves or others. Now in their 15th year, the Victorian Early Years Awards recognise, reward and celebrate individuals and organisations, and highlight those taking action to improve outcomes within the early years sector. In 2020, the awards celebrate the achievements and commitment of early childhood professionals across seven award categories, including improving access and participation, supporting parents and promoting children’s health and wellbeing, as well as the prestigious Early Childhood Teacher of the Year. Award winners receive up to $15,000 to further develop and share the lessons of their exceptional work in kindergartens, schools, local councils, maternal child and health services and other early years organisations across the state. Early childhood education and care has never been more important than it is now, during the coronavirus pandemic. Services are continuing to operate to support Victorian children and families during this challenging time. In an Australian first, the Victorian Government is investing almost $5 billion over this decade to deliver universally funded Three-Year-Old-Kindergarten. Nominations for the awards close on Monday 6 July, with finalists announced in September ahead of the awards ceremony expected to be held in November. For more information or to submit a nomination, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/veya Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria is home to many passionate early years professionals, and exceptional early years services – these awards are about giving them the recognition they deserve.” “This year’s Victorian Early Years Awards are the perfect opportunity to celebrate the people, organisations and services that help Victorian children to get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (209 KB)

More Than 70 Victorian Schools To Benefit From Funding

Students at 78 schools across the state will share in close to $6 million of funding, for works at their schools thanks to the Victorian Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the schools would share in an extra $5.94 million from the Planned Maintenance Program (PMP) to boost maintenance of the schools. Schools will receive funding to carry out works such as painting, resurfacing floors, replacing windows, fixing roofs, as well as resurfacing outdoors paths and stairs. The PMP provides funding for vital maintenance activities based on need. A new evaluation system was put in place in 2018 to provide more precise information on the condition of school infrastructure to create timely and targeted allocation of PMP funding. Last year, every Victorian school shared in $515 million as part of the single largest boost to school maintenance ever undertaken. This funding is ensuring existing buildings at Victoria’s 1,500 state schools are safe, modern and properly maintained. Today’s investment is in addition to the more than $7.2 billion already invested in Victorian school infrastructure, which is delivering more than 1,460 school upgrades and 100 new schools by 2026 – ensuring every child can access a great local school where they can achieve their best. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This investment is about making sure all Victorian schools are well maintained and safe, so students learn in the best possible environment.” “Though our record investment in school infrastructure, we’re delivering for our hard-working school principals, teachers and staff, as well as students and families.” Download the Media Release (207 KB)

More Than 70 Victorian Schools To Benefit From Funding

Students at 78 schools across the state will share in close to $6 million of funding, for works at their schools thanks to the Victorian Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the schools would share in an extra $5.94 million from the Planned Maintenance Program (PMP) to boost maintenance of the schools. Schools will receive funding to carry out works such as painting, resurfacing floors, replacing windows, fixing roofs, as well as resurfacing outdoors paths and stairs. The PMP provides funding for vital maintenance activities based on need. A new evaluation system was put in place in 2018 to provide more precise information on the condition of school infrastructure to create timely and targeted allocation of PMP funding. Last year, every Victorian school shared in $515 million as part of the single largest boost to school maintenance ever undertaken. This funding is ensuring existing buildings at Victoria’s 1,500 state schools are safe, modern and properly maintained. Today’s investment is in addition to the more than $7.2 billion already invested in Victorian school infrastructure, which is delivering more than 1,460 school upgrades and 100 new schools by 2026 – ensuring every child can access a great local school where they can achieve their best. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This investment is about making sure all Victorian schools are well maintained and safe, so students learn in the best possible environment.” “Though our record investment in school infrastructure, we’re delivering for our hard-working school principals, teachers and staff, as well as students and families.” Download the Media Release (207 KB)