Media Centre

LABOR GOVERNMENT DELIVERING ON ITS COMMITMENTS AT MONBULK AND BELGRAVE SOUTH

The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with the job of giving the Monbulk and Belgrave South communities the great sports facilities they deserve. Member for Monbulk James Merlino today visited Belgrave South Recreation Reserve and Monbulk Recreation Reserve, where the Labor Government is delivering on its key election commitments to give the community safe, modern sports facilities. The Labor Government is investing $500,000 towards a new community sports pavilion and play space at Belgrave South, and $600,000 for a new pavilion at Monbulk. Grassroots sports clubs are the lifeblood of Victoria’s suburbs and towns, while play spaces are where kids learn valuable skills that stay with them for life. The Belgrave South community deserves a home base it can be proud of, and the upgraded facilities at Belgrave South Recreation Reserve will offer just that. The Labor Government’s $500,000 investment will provide a pavilion complete with player and umpire change rooms, first aid facilities, and a multi-purpose room. A play space for kids is also planned. A funding agreement between Yarra Ranges Shire Council and the Labor Government means works can now commence on site. At Monbulk, a new pavilion complete with community meeting areas and male and female change rooms will be home to more than 800 budding players at the Monbulk Football Netball Club, Monbulk Junior Football Club and Monbulk Cricket Club. The new facilities will provide renewed opportunities for the community to get together, and assist local clubs in staging vital fundraisers. Funding for this project will be made available to the Yarra Ranges Shire Council from the 1st of July 2016, when works are expected to commence. The South Belgrave and Monbulk communities have proud sporting histories, and these new facilities will help the next generation become the best they can be. The projects are possible thanks to the Labor Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund. The $100 million fund is helping clubs update tired grounds and build the great facilities they need.   Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino “We promised we’d give the community the facilities it needs, and we’re getting on with delivering them.” “These upgrades will be great. It will mean players have a home base they can be proud of, local clubs can grow and kids can enjoy the precious memories that stay with them for life.” Quote attributable to Minister for Sport, John Eren “We’re committed to making sport and recreation part of the lives of all Victorians, because it means healthier and happier communities and a stronger state.”  

LABOR GOVERNMENT DELIVERING ON ITS COMMITMENTS AT MONBULK AND BELGRAVE SOUTH

The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with the job of giving the Monbulk and Belgrave South communities the great sports facilities they deserve. Member for Monbulk James Merlino today visited Belgrave South Recreation Reserve and Monbulk Recreation Reserve, where the Labor Government is delivering on its key election commitments to give the community safe, modern sports facilities. The Labor Government is investing $500,000 towards a new community sports pavilion and play space at Belgrave South, and $600,000 for a new pavilion at Monbulk. Grassroots sports clubs are the lifeblood of Victoria’s suburbs and towns, while play spaces are where kids learn valuable skills that stay with them for life. The Belgrave South community deserves a home base it can be proud of, and the upgraded facilities at Belgrave South Recreation Reserve will offer just that. The Labor Government’s $500,000 investment will provide a pavilion complete with player and umpire change rooms, first aid facilities, and a multi-purpose room. A play space for kids is also planned. A funding agreement between Yarra Ranges Shire Council and the Labor Government means works can now commence on site. At Monbulk, a new pavilion complete with community meeting areas and male and female change rooms will be home to more than 800 budding players at the Monbulk Football Netball Club, Monbulk Junior Football Club and Monbulk Cricket Club. The new facilities will provide renewed opportunities for the community to get together, and assist local clubs in staging vital fundraisers. Funding for this project will be made available to the Yarra Ranges Shire Council from the 1st of July 2016, when works are expected to commence. The South Belgrave and Monbulk communities have proud sporting histories, and these new facilities will help the next generation become the best they can be. The projects are possible thanks to the Labor Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund. The $100 million fund is helping clubs update tired grounds and build the great facilities they need.   Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino “We promised we’d give the community the facilities it needs, and we’re getting on with delivering them.” “These upgrades will be great. It will mean players have a home base they can be proud of, local clubs can grow and kids can enjoy the precious memories that stay with them for life.” Quote attributable to Minister for Sport, John Eren “We’re committed to making sport and recreation part of the lives of all Victorians, because it means healthier and happier communities and a stronger state.”  

Montpellier Primary Flood Clean-Up Underway

Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Montpellier Primary School to inspect repair works on damage inflicted  by this week’s destructive floods. Almost 20 government schools were damaged during the flash floods which hit Geelong and surrounding areas on Wednesday afternoon, with early childhood education and care services also impacted. One of two government schools in Geelong that was forced to close yesterday, most of Montpellier Primary School’s  590 students returned to class today. Nelson Park School’s Illinois Campus (Years 10 – 12) reopened today but its Libau Avenue Campus (P-9) remains closed today while the clean-up continues. Both Geelong High School and Hamlyn Banks Primary School, which had been scheduled to start classes today, have delayed the start of their school year until Monday. Although the full extent of the damage is still being assessed, it is expected that the clean-up and repair works will take several weeks. Mr Merlino confirmed that contractors from the Department of Education and Training had been working around the clock to repair affected schools, with relocatable classrooms installed where required. The Department is also assisting principals in communicating to their school communities about the impact of flood damage, as well as any subsequent repair works. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino “It’s not the start to the school year that any of us could have expected – but the floods and their aftermath have again highlighted the extraordinary character and resilience of the Geelong community.” Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney “I want to thank families for their patience and school staff for their help in cleaning up the flood-damaged schools.” Quotes attributable to Montpellier Primary School, Andrew Dalgleish “I rang the Department’s emergency response hotline on Wednesday afternoon and their contractors were here a couple of hours later. They worked through the night to get the majority of the water out of the buildings.”   Download the Media Release (332 kB)

Montpellier Primary Flood Clean-Up Underway

Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Montpellier Primary School to inspect repair works on damage inflicted  by this week’s destructive floods. Almost 20 government schools were damaged during the flash floods which hit Geelong and surrounding areas on Wednesday afternoon, with early childhood education and care services also impacted. One of two government schools in Geelong that was forced to close yesterday, most of Montpellier Primary School’s  590 students returned to class today. Nelson Park School’s Illinois Campus (Years 10 – 12) reopened today but its Libau Avenue Campus (P-9) remains closed today while the clean-up continues. Both Geelong High School and Hamlyn Banks Primary School, which had been scheduled to start classes today, have delayed the start of their school year until Monday. Although the full extent of the damage is still being assessed, it is expected that the clean-up and repair works will take several weeks. Mr Merlino confirmed that contractors from the Department of Education and Training had been working around the clock to repair affected schools, with relocatable classrooms installed where required. The Department is also assisting principals in communicating to their school communities about the impact of flood damage, as well as any subsequent repair works. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino “It’s not the start to the school year that any of us could have expected – but the floods and their aftermath have again highlighted the extraordinary character and resilience of the Geelong community.” Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney “I want to thank families for their patience and school staff for their help in cleaning up the flood-damaged schools.” Quotes attributable to Montpellier Primary School, Andrew Dalgleish “I rang the Department’s emergency response hotline on Wednesday afternoon and their contractors were here a couple of hours later. They worked through the night to get the majority of the water out of the buildings.”   Download the Media Release (332 kB)

Education State Funding To Benefit One Million Students Heading Back To School Today

Nearly one million Victorian students returning to school today are set to benefit from the Andrews Labor Government’s Education State reforms, including a $566 million – or 70 per cent – boost to equity funding over four years. Visiting Lynbrook Primary School today, Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Cranbourne Jude Perera met some of the state’s newest students to hand out Crumpler library bags, provided to all preps starting at state government schools in 2016. Some 160 preps will begin at Lynbrook Primary in 2016, including four sets of twins who have joined the school’s 980 students. Taking our education system from good to great, the Education State reforms began with a record investment in education and skills of almost $4 billion under the 2015-16 State Budget. Lynbrook Primary will receive $302,237 in equity funding in 2016, an increase of $110,919 compared to 2015. In 2016, the Labor Government will also provide students in need with uniforms and glasses, provide breakfast for 25,000 kids at 500 of Victoria’s most disadvantaged primary schools, and help students attend important educational activities through the $148.3 million Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund. The custom-made Crumpler library bags have been specifically designed to be strong, weather-proof and long-lasting so that they can accompany Victorian students throughout their journey through primary school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re proud that 2016 will see us continue to deliver key Education State reforms so that every child, in every classroom, in every community can receive a great education.” “By ensuring that communities across Victoria have access to great schools, we are giving every student the chance to succeed in learning – and in life.” Quote attributable to Member for Cranbourne Jude Perera “Labor’s Education State reforms will give parents in Cranbourne confidence that their children are being educated in a world-class system.”  Back to school fast facts: In 2016, approximately: 929,300 students will attend a Victorian school; 586,200 students will attend a Victorian government school; 526,600 primary and 402,700 secondary students will attend a school; 76,000 preps will start school, including 52,300 in government schools; and 67,200 Year 7s will attend a school, including 36,400 Year 7s attending a government school. There are 1525 government schools, including 1124 primary schools, 78 primary-secondary schools, 239 secondary schools, 80 special schools and 4 English language schools throughout Victoria. There is a total of 2227 government, Catholic and independent schools in Victoria. Education State fast facts: In 2016, the Andrews Labor Government will deliver: A $158 million Equity Funding boost to help schools and students break the cycle of disadvantage, as part of a $566 million – or more than 70 per cent – boost to equity funding over four years; The first steps implementing a new curriculum focused on fostering academic excellence and building life skills, backed by $21.6 million for implementation support; The start of a $13.7 million breakfast club program to feed 25,000 kids at 500 of Victoria’s most disadvantaged primary schools; The launch of Glasses for Kids to provide free eye tests and glasses to Prep-Year 3 students at 250 of Victoria’s most disadvantaged primary schools; A $15 million boost for State Schools’ Relief to help eligible Year 7 students get school uniforms, shoes, safety boots, stationery and textbooks ; The deployment of approximately 150 new regional staff to provide operational support and advice so that principals can focus on students, as part of a $82.2 million Learning Places program; The implementation of a new $10 million Inclusive Schools Fund to help government schools better support children with disabilities; Training of the first 100 specialist teachers, as part of the $27 million Primary Maths and Science Specialists program to boost outcomes in STEM; The $148.3 million Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund so every student, regardless of background, can go on camps and excursions; and The $2 million Music in Schools program so that every Victorian student has the chance to learn and pursue music.   Download the Media Release (339 kB)

Education State Funding To Benefit One Million Students Heading Back To School Today

Nearly one million Victorian students returning to school today are set to benefit from the Andrews Labor Government’s Education State reforms, including a $566 million – or 70 per cent – boost to equity funding over four years. Visiting Lynbrook Primary School today, Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Cranbourne Jude Perera met some of the state’s newest students to hand out Crumpler library bags, provided to all preps starting at state government schools in 2016. Some 160 preps will begin at Lynbrook Primary in 2016, including four sets of twins who have joined the school’s 980 students. Taking our education system from good to great, the Education State reforms began with a record investment in education and skills of almost $4 billion under the 2015-16 State Budget. Lynbrook Primary will receive $302,237 in equity funding in 2016, an increase of $110,919 compared to 2015. In 2016, the Labor Government will also provide students in need with uniforms and glasses, provide breakfast for 25,000 kids at 500 of Victoria’s most disadvantaged primary schools, and help students attend important educational activities through the $148.3 million Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund. The custom-made Crumpler library bags have been specifically designed to be strong, weather-proof and long-lasting so that they can accompany Victorian students throughout their journey through primary school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re proud that 2016 will see us continue to deliver key Education State reforms so that every child, in every classroom, in every community can receive a great education.” “By ensuring that communities across Victoria have access to great schools, we are giving every student the chance to succeed in learning – and in life.” Quote attributable to Member for Cranbourne Jude Perera “Labor’s Education State reforms will give parents in Cranbourne confidence that their children are being educated in a world-class system.”  Back to school fast facts: In 2016, approximately: 929,300 students will attend a Victorian school; 586,200 students will attend a Victorian government school; 526,600 primary and 402,700 secondary students will attend a school; 76,000 preps will start school, including 52,300 in government schools; and 67,200 Year 7s will attend a school, including 36,400 Year 7s attending a government school. There are 1525 government schools, including 1124 primary schools, 78 primary-secondary schools, 239 secondary schools, 80 special schools and 4 English language schools throughout Victoria. There is a total of 2227 government, Catholic and independent schools in Victoria. Education State fast facts: In 2016, the Andrews Labor Government will deliver: A $158 million Equity Funding boost to help schools and students break the cycle of disadvantage, as part of a $566 million – or more than 70 per cent – boost to equity funding over four years; The first steps implementing a new curriculum focused on fostering academic excellence and building life skills, backed by $21.6 million for implementation support; The start of a $13.7 million breakfast club program to feed 25,000 kids at 500 of Victoria’s most disadvantaged primary schools; The launch of Glasses for Kids to provide free eye tests and glasses to Prep-Year 3 students at 250 of Victoria’s most disadvantaged primary schools; A $15 million boost for State Schools’ Relief to help eligible Year 7 students get school uniforms, shoes, safety boots, stationery and textbooks ; The deployment of approximately 150 new regional staff to provide operational support and advice so that principals can focus on students, as part of a $82.2 million Learning Places program; The implementation of a new $10 million Inclusive Schools Fund to help government schools better support children with disabilities; Training of the first 100 specialist teachers, as part of the $27 million Primary Maths and Science Specialists program to boost outcomes in STEM; The $148.3 million Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund so every student, regardless of background, can go on camps and excursions; and The $2 million Music in Schools program so that every Victorian student has the chance to learn and pursue music.   Download the Media Release (339 kB)

Slow Down As Kids Head Back To School

Drivers are being urged to slow down and be extra cautious around school zones this week, with reduced speed limits in place from Thursday 28 January outside schools across Victoria to keep kids safe as they return to classrooms for 2016. Speed limits will drop to either 40km/h or 60km/h in the mornings from 8:00 to 9:30am and the afternoons from 2:30 to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. Drivers must obey reduced speed limits outside all schools on these days even if an individual school is closed. School speed zones are designed to improve road safety outside schools while also taking into account issues such as high traffic volumes, peak school pedestrian hours and school holidays. Speed limits are clearly signposted with permanent speed limit signs, advance warning signs, time based signs or electronic variable signs, so that everyone is aware of the safer speeds. Reduced speeds in school zones keep our most vulnerable road users safe in a busy traffic environment. Young children can be unpredictable, fast, and difficult to see. A small reduction in speed can dramatically increase the chance of a child surviving being hit by a car. Drivers are encouraged to look out for speed signs on the road, in particular near schools, and slow down. With summer in full swing, drivers should also watch out for children on bikes – particularly at intersections and roundabouts – or walking on footpaths. Parents and carers are also urged to be extra vigilant and take care during drop-off and pick up times. All children should be in the appropriate restraint for their age and size, parking restrictions should be obeyed and drivers should keep clear of the children’s crossings and take care not to double park. Term 1 school speed zones will be in place from Thursday 28 January 2016 to Thursday 24 March, except for public holidays. Quotes attributable to Acting Premier James Merlino “The start of the school year is an exciting time for students, and sometimes safety may be the last thing on their mind.” “Drivers need to be extra cautious and look out for kids as you drive through school zones.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan “Keeping children safe is everybody’s responsibility. Slow down, look up, and be alert.” “When we send our children to school we expect them to come home safe and sound at the end of the day.”   Download the Media Release (293 kB)

Slow Down As Kids Head Back To School

Drivers are being urged to slow down and be extra cautious around school zones this week, with reduced speed limits in place from Thursday 28 January outside schools across Victoria to keep kids safe as they return to classrooms for 2016. Speed limits will drop to either 40km/h or 60km/h in the mornings from 8:00 to 9:30am and the afternoons from 2:30 to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. Drivers must obey reduced speed limits outside all schools on these days even if an individual school is closed. School speed zones are designed to improve road safety outside schools while also taking into account issues such as high traffic volumes, peak school pedestrian hours and school holidays. Speed limits are clearly signposted with permanent speed limit signs, advance warning signs, time based signs or electronic variable signs, so that everyone is aware of the safer speeds. Reduced speeds in school zones keep our most vulnerable road users safe in a busy traffic environment. Young children can be unpredictable, fast, and difficult to see. A small reduction in speed can dramatically increase the chance of a child surviving being hit by a car. Drivers are encouraged to look out for speed signs on the road, in particular near schools, and slow down. With summer in full swing, drivers should also watch out for children on bikes – particularly at intersections and roundabouts – or walking on footpaths. Parents and carers are also urged to be extra vigilant and take care during drop-off and pick up times. All children should be in the appropriate restraint for their age and size, parking restrictions should be obeyed and drivers should keep clear of the children’s crossings and take care not to double park. Term 1 school speed zones will be in place from Thursday 28 January 2016 to Thursday 24 March, except for public holidays. Quotes attributable to Acting Premier James Merlino “The start of the school year is an exciting time for students, and sometimes safety may be the last thing on their mind.” “Drivers need to be extra cautious and look out for kids as you drive through school zones.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan “Keeping children safe is everybody’s responsibility. Slow down, look up, and be alert.” “When we send our children to school we expect them to come home safe and sound at the end of the day.”   Download the Media Release (293 kB)

SAFER ROADS AROUND MONBULK SCHOOLS TO PROTECT KIDS

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered on its commitment to improve road safety around three south-east Melbourne primary schools, with new electronic school speed signs being switched on for the first time next week. Sixteen new electronic signs have been installed at Mount Dandenong Primary, The Patch Primary and Selby Primary and will flash 40km/h during school speed zone times (8.00am-9.30am and 2.30pm-4.00pm). Mount Dandenong Primary School will receive a new school speed zone on the Tourist Road, with four electronic signs to be operational during the school speed zone times – reducing the existing 60km/h speed limit to 40km/h. The Patch Primary School currently has many families accessing the school through a back entrance on The Patch Road, which is a 60km/h road that is not part of a timed school speed zone. From day one of the new school year, this section of road will be reduced to 40km/h during the school zone times with four flashing signs in operation. Four existing static school speed signs on Kallista-Emerald Road will be upgraded to electronic signs. Selby Primary School will also have four new electronic signs displaying the school speed zone on Belgrave-Gembrook Road from next week. Electronic speed limit signs significantly increase driver awareness, to lower speeds and to take extra care. When school children are using footpaths close to the road, it’s important we lower the speeds during the school zone times. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “We’ve made the roads around schools in Monbulk safer, so that our kids come home safe and sound at the end of every school day.” “The Andrews Labor Government is committed to ensuring the safety of local children at Mount Dandenong Primary, Patch Primary and Selby Primary.” “We’re replacing existing static signs with flashing signs, but we’ve also expanded and introduced new school zones where appropriate across these locations.”  

SAFER ROADS AROUND MONBULK SCHOOLS TO PROTECT KIDS

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered on its commitment to improve road safety around three south-east Melbourne primary schools, with new electronic school speed signs being switched on for the first time next week. Sixteen new electronic signs have been installed at Mount Dandenong Primary, The Patch Primary and Selby Primary and will flash 40km/h during school speed zone times (8.00am-9.30am and 2.30pm-4.00pm). Mount Dandenong Primary School will receive a new school speed zone on the Tourist Road, with four electronic signs to be operational during the school speed zone times – reducing the existing 60km/h speed limit to 40km/h. The Patch Primary School currently has many families accessing the school through a back entrance on The Patch Road, which is a 60km/h road that is not part of a timed school speed zone. From day one of the new school year, this section of road will be reduced to 40km/h during the school zone times with four flashing signs in operation. Four existing static school speed signs on Kallista-Emerald Road will be upgraded to electronic signs. Selby Primary School will also have four new electronic signs displaying the school speed zone on Belgrave-Gembrook Road from next week. Electronic speed limit signs significantly increase driver awareness, to lower speeds and to take extra care. When school children are using footpaths close to the road, it’s important we lower the speeds during the school zone times. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “We’ve made the roads around schools in Monbulk safer, so that our kids come home safe and sound at the end of every school day.” “The Andrews Labor Government is committed to ensuring the safety of local children at Mount Dandenong Primary, Patch Primary and Selby Primary.” “We’re replacing existing static signs with flashing signs, but we’ve also expanded and introduced new school zones where appropriate across these locations.”  

Thousands Of Victorian Students Get Uni And TAFE Offers

Students across Victoria are today celebrating receiving offers to attend university and TAFE. Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) data published today shows that more than 57,200 students received main round offers for undergraduate courses today. In addition, VTAC has already issued 8,400 early round offers. Acting Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Education James Merlino congratulated all students who had received an offer but added that those who did not receive the offers they want should not despair. He said these students could wait for subsequent rounds of VTAC offers, change their VTAC preferences or approach their preferred institution directly. Mr Merlino reminded students that they could also speak to their local TAFE about options available to them, including courses not listed with VTAC, and pathways from TAFE courses into university degrees. TAFE institutes offer high quality courses leading to many careers. The Andrews Labor Government is investing heavily in TAFE, including through the $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund. New facilities and campuses are being established, and TAFEs’ are being supported to provide the services and courses that Victorians’ need to get a job. The Labor Government is committed to transforming Victoria’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system and building the Education State. Over the past year it has: agreed to implement a sustainable funding model which prioritises quality training that leads to jobs opened Skills and Jobs Centres across the state which will be the first port-of-call for students looking to start training, workers needing to reskill, unemployed workers needing support for retraining, and for employers undertaken a quality blitz and strengthened requirements to ensure the quality of training providers that have a Victorian Training Guarantee (VTG) contract with the Victorian Government. Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Education, James Merlino “I congratulate all students who have received an offer from a university or TAFE course. This is a new chapter in your education and training journey, and I wish you all the best.” “There are many paths to a great career. If you haven’t received your ideal offer, remember that there are plenty of options including TAFE, apprenticeships and traineeships. Persistence will always pay off in the end.” “We’re building the Education State, investing in our education and training system, including TAFE, so Victorians can get the skills they need for the jobs and futures that they want.”   Download the Media Release (345 kB)

Thousands Of Victorian Students Get Uni And TAFE Offers

Students across Victoria are today celebrating receiving offers to attend university and TAFE. Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) data published today shows that more than 57,200 students received main round offers for undergraduate courses today. In addition, VTAC has already issued 8,400 early round offers. Acting Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Education James Merlino congratulated all students who had received an offer but added that those who did not receive the offers they want should not despair. He said these students could wait for subsequent rounds of VTAC offers, change their VTAC preferences or approach their preferred institution directly. Mr Merlino reminded students that they could also speak to their local TAFE about options available to them, including courses not listed with VTAC, and pathways from TAFE courses into university degrees. TAFE institutes offer high quality courses leading to many careers. The Andrews Labor Government is investing heavily in TAFE, including through the $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund. New facilities and campuses are being established, and TAFEs’ are being supported to provide the services and courses that Victorians’ need to get a job. The Labor Government is committed to transforming Victoria’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system and building the Education State. Over the past year it has: agreed to implement a sustainable funding model which prioritises quality training that leads to jobs opened Skills and Jobs Centres across the state which will be the first port-of-call for students looking to start training, workers needing to reskill, unemployed workers needing support for retraining, and for employers undertaken a quality blitz and strengthened requirements to ensure the quality of training providers that have a Victorian Training Guarantee (VTG) contract with the Victorian Government. Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Education, James Merlino “I congratulate all students who have received an offer from a university or TAFE course. This is a new chapter in your education and training journey, and I wish you all the best.” “There are many paths to a great career. If you haven’t received your ideal offer, remember that there are plenty of options including TAFE, apprenticeships and traineeships. Persistence will always pay off in the end.” “We’re building the Education State, investing in our education and training system, including TAFE, so Victorians can get the skills they need for the jobs and futures that they want.”   Download the Media Release (345 kB)

Cheaper Bus Fares For Families Across Regional Victoria

Thousands of Victorian families accessing the School Bus Program across regional Victoria are set to save hundreds of dollars a year in student bus fares. The Andrews Labor Government is introducing a single fare for travel, in response to the complicated system of bus fares affecting thousands of families in regional Victoria Currently, students not attending their closest government or non-government denominational school pay annual bus fares ranging from $480 to $1240, depending on the distance travelled. From 2016, these students will be able to travel at a reduced rate of $480 per annum. For example almost 300 (292) students in Echuca will save between $80 and $760. Around 350 (361) students in Warrnambool and another 350 (366) students in Shepparton are expected to also save between $80 and $760. This is the result of the Labor Government listening to feedback from families and schools regarding the old complicated ticketing system. This reduction in fares will enable greater choice in selecting schools and transport options for families and lighten the workload on school administrators. The improvements announced today do not affect families eligible for free bus travel. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This reduction in bus fares will mean thousands of families across regional Victoria won’t have to face the old complicated system and will be left with more money in their pockets.” “Not only will it save many of them money, it will allow more kids to access the School Bus Program to get to and from school.” “We’re investing almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State, so every community has access to great local schools and every child gets the chance to succeed.” Download the Media Release (274 kB)

Cheaper Bus Fares For Families Across Regional Victoria

Thousands of Victorian families accessing the School Bus Program across regional Victoria are set to save hundreds of dollars a year in student bus fares. The Andrews Labor Government is introducing a single fare for travel, in response to the complicated system of bus fares affecting thousands of families in regional Victoria Currently, students not attending their closest government or non-government denominational school pay annual bus fares ranging from $480 to $1240, depending on the distance travelled. From 2016, these students will be able to travel at a reduced rate of $480 per annum. For example almost 300 (292) students in Echuca will save between $80 and $760. Around 350 (361) students in Warrnambool and another 350 (366) students in Shepparton are expected to also save between $80 and $760. This is the result of the Labor Government listening to feedback from families and schools regarding the old complicated ticketing system. This reduction in fares will enable greater choice in selecting schools and transport options for families and lighten the workload on school administrators. The improvements announced today do not affect families eligible for free bus travel. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This reduction in bus fares will mean thousands of families across regional Victoria won’t have to face the old complicated system and will be left with more money in their pockets.” “Not only will it save many of them money, it will allow more kids to access the School Bus Program to get to and from school.” “We’re investing almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State, so every community has access to great local schools and every child gets the chance to succeed.” Download the Media Release (274 kB)

$100,000 Grant For Brunswick South Primary School’s Italian Program

Minister for Education James Merlino visited Brunswick South Primary School this week to announce a $100,000 grant for the school’s Italian language program and its inclusion in the Victorian Government’s designated bilingual program in 2017. Brunswick South Primary School’s Italian bilingual program is currently offered to students in years Prep to Year Three. The grant will assist the school to extend its Italian program to students in Year Four in 2016 and support its transition to the designated bilingual school program in 2017. Schools in the designated bilingual program are funded to provide bilingual education for their students. There are currently 14 bilingual programs offered across 12 primary schools in Victoria which give students the opportunity to learn curriculum content in both English and another language. The Andrews Labor Government is committed to ensuring that languages education is part of the core curriculum of all Victorian schools, which is supported by a  range of local and in-country professional development opportunities that has boosted the number of language teachers available to schools. The Labor Government is also supporting every government school in Victoria to offer a quality languages program including in regional Victoria, by sharing languages teachers across clusters of schools supported by video conferencing technology. The 2015-16 Victorian Budget invests almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State, so every community has access to great local schools and every child gets the chance to succeed in life regardless of background, place or circumstance. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are making Victoria the Education State by ensuring that every community has access to great schools, supporting our teachers and principals to be their best, and ensuring that every student experiences the chance to succeed, in learning and in life.” “Learning a language can improve a student’s overall academic performance, it also strengthens their brain development, problem solving skills and English literary.” Quote attributable to Member for  Brunswick Jane Garrett “I commend the principal Sheryl Hall, with the support of the school community, for her strong commitment to languages education by establishing an Italian bilingual program.” Download the Media Release (282 kB)

$100,000 Grant For Brunswick South Primary School’s Italian Program

Minister for Education James Merlino visited Brunswick South Primary School this week to announce a $100,000 grant for the school’s Italian language program and its inclusion in the Victorian Government’s designated bilingual program in 2017. Brunswick South Primary School’s Italian bilingual program is currently offered to students in years Prep to Year Three. The grant will assist the school to extend its Italian program to students in Year Four in 2016 and support its transition to the designated bilingual school program in 2017. Schools in the designated bilingual program are funded to provide bilingual education for their students. There are currently 14 bilingual programs offered across 12 primary schools in Victoria which give students the opportunity to learn curriculum content in both English and another language. The Andrews Labor Government is committed to ensuring that languages education is part of the core curriculum of all Victorian schools, which is supported by a  range of local and in-country professional development opportunities that has boosted the number of language teachers available to schools. The Labor Government is also supporting every government school in Victoria to offer a quality languages program including in regional Victoria, by sharing languages teachers across clusters of schools supported by video conferencing technology. The 2015-16 Victorian Budget invests almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State, so every community has access to great local schools and every child gets the chance to succeed in life regardless of background, place or circumstance. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are making Victoria the Education State by ensuring that every community has access to great schools, supporting our teachers and principals to be their best, and ensuring that every student experiences the chance to succeed, in learning and in life.” “Learning a language can improve a student’s overall academic performance, it also strengthens their brain development, problem solving skills and English literary.” Quote attributable to Member for  Brunswick Jane Garrett “I commend the principal Sheryl Hall, with the support of the school community, for her strong commitment to languages education by establishing an Italian bilingual program.” Download the Media Release (282 kB)

 

More Than $5 Million To Support School Students Secure Work Placements

The Andrews Labor Government will invest $5.1 million in 2016 to help school students secure work placements and on-the-job training as part of their Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications. Minister for Education James Merlino said that following an independent review, the current Workplace Learning Coordinator (WLC) Program would be reformed to better meet student needs. From 2016, each of the state’s 31 Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs), which link education and training organisations, industry and community groups in local areas,  will be funded to coordinate structured workplace learning (SWL) opportunities for school students in the state. A new state wide website will be developed to support the role of the LLENs in helping schools to access SWL opportunities and engage with business to better prepare students for successful post-school transitions. The independent review of the WLC program found that the existing approach to school-industry engagement faces challenges of scale, inefficiency, fragmentation, duplication and inconsistency.  The new SWL approach is part of a suite of Education State initiatives to support young people to stay in education and training. In September, the Labor Government announced funding of $8.6 million over two years to pilot a Navigator service to provide direct support to disengaged young people, to help them overcome barriers to learning and successfully re-engage with an education or training pathway. As part of our Education State investment, the Government is also providing an additional $565 million over four years for students who need it most – helping to break the cycle of disadvantage. The Education State is also preparing our kids for life and work in the 21st century – through new subjects such as digital coding, and ambitious new targets to improve student learning and development including halving the number of students who disengage from education and training. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino  “We’re investing almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State. As part of this, it is crucial that school students and young people get opportunities to undertake work placements and on-the-job training and to build the skills they need for jobs in the 21st century.” “The new Structured Workplace Learning model will reduce duplication and inconsistency and will increase opportunities for students across Victoria.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert “This is part of our commitment to save LLENs and is on top of the $32 million over four years we’ve already committed.” “This funding will make sure Victorian school students have the opportunity to learn the skills they need for the job they want.” Download the Media Release (331 kB)

More Than $5 Million To Support School Students Secure Work Placements

The Andrews Labor Government will invest $5.1 million in 2016 to help school students secure work placements and on-the-job training as part of their Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications. Minister for Education James Merlino said that following an independent review, the current Workplace Learning Coordinator (WLC) Program would be reformed to better meet student needs. From 2016, each of the state’s 31 Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs), which link education and training organisations, industry and community groups in local areas,  will be funded to coordinate structured workplace learning (SWL) opportunities for school students in the state. A new state wide website will be developed to support the role of the LLENs in helping schools to access SWL opportunities and engage with business to better prepare students for successful post-school transitions. The independent review of the WLC program found that the existing approach to school-industry engagement faces challenges of scale, inefficiency, fragmentation, duplication and inconsistency.  The new SWL approach is part of a suite of Education State initiatives to support young people to stay in education and training. In September, the Labor Government announced funding of $8.6 million over two years to pilot a Navigator service to provide direct support to disengaged young people, to help them overcome barriers to learning and successfully re-engage with an education or training pathway. As part of our Education State investment, the Government is also providing an additional $565 million over four years for students who need it most – helping to break the cycle of disadvantage. The Education State is also preparing our kids for life and work in the 21st century – through new subjects such as digital coding, and ambitious new targets to improve student learning and development including halving the number of students who disengage from education and training. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino  “We’re investing almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State. As part of this, it is crucial that school students and young people get opportunities to undertake work placements and on-the-job training and to build the skills they need for jobs in the 21st century.” “The new Structured Workplace Learning model will reduce duplication and inconsistency and will increase opportunities for students across Victoria.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert “This is part of our commitment to save LLENs and is on top of the $32 million over four years we’ve already committed.” “This funding will make sure Victorian school students have the opportunity to learn the skills they need for the job they want.” Download the Media Release (331 kB)

Government’s changes to Special Religious Instruction (SRI)

Access Ministries is currently running a campaign on the Government’s changes to Special Religious Instruction (SRI) in schools for 2016. As a part of this campaign they are claiming that the singing of Christmas carols has been banned in schools. Christmas carols are not banned.  Traditional Christmas carols have been and will continue to be sung at our government schools. The changes to the delivery of SRI for next year, still allow for the study of common religious celebrations or festivals as a part of general religious education curriculum provided by government school teachers. This includes the singing of Christmas carols or making Christmas decorations, along with other activities such as colourful celebrations during Diwali and candle lighting during Hanukkah. However, a music based program provided by visitors to a school or school volunteers where the lyrics are praise or worship focussed is considered SRI and cannot occur during class time. The guidelines exist to make it clear that there is no proselytising in government schools.  A copy of a fact sheet sent to schools on the changes to SRI for 2016 is attached. 151203 Fact Sheet - SRI Changes

Government’s changes to Special Religious Instruction (SRI)

Access Ministries is currently running a campaign on the Government’s changes to Special Religious Instruction (SRI) in schools for 2016. As a part of this campaign they are claiming that the singing of Christmas carols has been banned in schools. Christmas carols are not banned.  Traditional Christmas carols have been and will continue to be sung at our government schools. The changes to the delivery of SRI for next year, still allow for the study of common religious celebrations or festivals as a part of general religious education curriculum provided by government school teachers. This includes the singing of Christmas carols or making Christmas decorations, along with other activities such as colourful celebrations during Diwali and candle lighting during Hanukkah. However, a music based program provided by visitors to a school or school volunteers where the lyrics are praise or worship focussed is considered SRI and cannot occur during class time. The guidelines exist to make it clear that there is no proselytising in government schools.  A copy of a fact sheet sent to schools on the changes to SRI for 2016 is attached. 151203 Fact Sheet - SRI Changes

Lilydale Lakeside Campus

The Lilydale campus closed its doors in 2013, sparking an unprecedented community led campaign to return TAFE and higher education to the outer east. Now thanks to your support, the Box Hill Institute, in partnership with Deakin University and William Angliss Institute, will deliver a new era of outstanding education in Lilydale. Education can transform lives and this campaign shows what can be achieved when we unite for a common goal and use our collective voices to fight for what we believe in.

Lilydale Lakeside Campus

The Lilydale campus closed its doors in 2013, sparking an unprecedented community led campaign to return TAFE and higher education to the outer east. Now thanks to your support, the Box Hill Institute, in partnership with Deakin University and William Angliss Institute, will deliver a new era of outstanding education in Lilydale. Education can transform lives and this campaign shows what can be achieved when we unite for a common goal and use our collective voices to fight for what we believe in.

$10 Million To Fast-Track Lilydale Development

The Andrews Labor Government is continuing its support in restoring TAFE and higher education to Lilydale with an additional $10 million for Box Hill Institute to fast-track the new Children’s Centre and Biosecurity Centre of Excellence. Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert joined Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Children and Families Jenny Mikakos at the Lilydale campus to make the announcement. This additional $10 million is on top of the $10 million already committed by the Labor Government to reopen the site which was closed under the former Government in 2013. The new money will be used to strengthen Box Hill’s education provision on the site and will be used to fast-track an Integrated Children’s Centre and a Biosecurity Centre of Excellence and Research. The Children’s Centre will include kindergarten programs for children in the year before school, long day care, maternal and child health services and family services. It will allow members of the community to access training who might otherwise miss out because they have young children. The Centre of Excellence for Food and Water Biosecurity will deliver high standards of biosecurity research, innovation and learning. The visit was also used to announce the new name for the former Swinburne Lilydale site, The Lakeside Lilydale Campus. The name was the successful entrant following a public naming competition. Classes will return to the site for 2016 with Box Hill Institute working in partnership with Deakin University and William Angliss Institute to deliver outstanding education in the Yarra Valley. Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert “This $10 million injection of Andrews Labor Government funding will allow Box Hill to fast-track education provision at the Lilydale Campus and allow the Yarra Valley community to access quality training close to home.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Education and Member for Monbulk James Merlino “It’s a credit to the community that this campus is reopening. Without the hard work of the community we might not be here today.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Children and Families Jenny Mikakos “Early childhood development is a key part of our commitment to make Victoria the Education State. Access to quality early childcare services is important for parents who are studying and raising children at the same time.” Download the Media Release (373 kB)

$10 Million To Fast-Track Lilydale Development

The Andrews Labor Government is continuing its support in restoring TAFE and higher education to Lilydale with an additional $10 million for Box Hill Institute to fast-track the new Children’s Centre and Biosecurity Centre of Excellence. Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert joined Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Children and Families Jenny Mikakos at the Lilydale campus to make the announcement. This additional $10 million is on top of the $10 million already committed by the Labor Government to reopen the site which was closed under the former Government in 2013. The new money will be used to strengthen Box Hill’s education provision on the site and will be used to fast-track an Integrated Children’s Centre and a Biosecurity Centre of Excellence and Research. The Children’s Centre will include kindergarten programs for children in the year before school, long day care, maternal and child health services and family services. It will allow members of the community to access training who might otherwise miss out because they have young children. The Centre of Excellence for Food and Water Biosecurity will deliver high standards of biosecurity research, innovation and learning. The visit was also used to announce the new name for the former Swinburne Lilydale site, The Lakeside Lilydale Campus. The name was the successful entrant following a public naming competition. Classes will return to the site for 2016 with Box Hill Institute working in partnership with Deakin University and William Angliss Institute to deliver outstanding education in the Yarra Valley. Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert “This $10 million injection of Andrews Labor Government funding will allow Box Hill to fast-track education provision at the Lilydale Campus and allow the Yarra Valley community to access quality training close to home.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Education and Member for Monbulk James Merlino “It’s a credit to the community that this campus is reopening. Without the hard work of the community we might not be here today.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Children and Families Jenny Mikakos “Early childhood development is a key part of our commitment to make Victoria the Education State. Access to quality early childcare services is important for parents who are studying and raising children at the same time.” Download the Media Release (373 kB)

Victorian Students Celebrate Their VCE Results

More than 49,000 Victorian students this morning completed the final chapter of their school lives as they received their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) results from 7am. Deputy Premier and Education Minister James Merlino joined the inaugural group of Year 12 students at Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences in Parkville to congratulate them as they received their results online or via text this morning. This year, 49,426 students will graduate with their VCE with a completion rate of 97.7%.  Of these students, 4,026 will be awarded the VCE (Baccalaureate) and 13,042 students will receive their Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). 14,770 students received a study score of 40 or more. The Deputy Premier said that while many students will seek a place at a university, others will be seeking to advance their careers through TAFE, apprenticeships, traineeships or employment. He urged all students to make the most of their hard work, and to strive for excellence in whatever it is they choose to do next. Students who may be disappointed with their results should contact their school or the Post Results and ATAR service on how to change their higher education preferences. Students have until 12pm on 21 December to change their university and TAFE preferences. Students can contact the Post Results enquiry service on 1800 653 080. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino “Completing VCE is a significant achievement in anyone’s life and I congratulate more than 49,000 students across the state for reaching this milestone. You should be very proud of what you have achieved.” “I sincerely thank the many teachers, families and friends who encouraged and supported these students throughout their studies this year. “If you didn’t get the results you wanted, seek advice from your school and remember that life offers many pathways to success. Quotes attributable to Minister for Skills and Training, Steve Herbert “TAFEs provide quality training that can help young Victorians school leavers get ahead in life.” “High quality vocational skills are often the best pathway to a highly paid job.” “TAFEs can give you a fabulous campus experience, and the opportunity to develop the skills you need for a job or for further study.” Download the Media Release (328 kB)

Victorian Students Celebrate Their VCE Results

More than 49,000 Victorian students this morning completed the final chapter of their school lives as they received their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) results from 7am. Deputy Premier and Education Minister James Merlino joined the inaugural group of Year 12 students at Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences in Parkville to congratulate them as they received their results online or via text this morning. This year, 49,426 students will graduate with their VCE with a completion rate of 97.7%.  Of these students, 4,026 will be awarded the VCE (Baccalaureate) and 13,042 students will receive their Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). 14,770 students received a study score of 40 or more. The Deputy Premier said that while many students will seek a place at a university, others will be seeking to advance their careers through TAFE, apprenticeships, traineeships or employment. He urged all students to make the most of their hard work, and to strive for excellence in whatever it is they choose to do next. Students who may be disappointed with their results should contact their school or the Post Results and ATAR service on how to change their higher education preferences. Students have until 12pm on 21 December to change their university and TAFE preferences. Students can contact the Post Results enquiry service on 1800 653 080. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino “Completing VCE is a significant achievement in anyone’s life and I congratulate more than 49,000 students across the state for reaching this milestone. You should be very proud of what you have achieved.” “I sincerely thank the many teachers, families and friends who encouraged and supported these students throughout their studies this year. “If you didn’t get the results you wanted, seek advice from your school and remember that life offers many pathways to success. Quotes attributable to Minister for Skills and Training, Steve Herbert “TAFEs provide quality training that can help young Victorians school leavers get ahead in life.” “High quality vocational skills are often the best pathway to a highly paid job.” “TAFEs can give you a fabulous campus experience, and the opportunity to develop the skills you need for a job or for further study.” Download the Media Release (328 kB)

Federal Court Ruling On Notebooks For Teachers And Principals Program

Some 46,000 Victorian teachers will share in about $37 million in repayments following a recent Federal Court ruling against deducting payments from teachers’ salaries for their work laptops. The decision related to the Notebooks for Teachers and Principals Program that has been in operation since 1 July 2009. The Department ceased the deductions on 13 November. The Andrews Labor Government understands that laptops have become an essential professional tool for many of our state’s teachers. In recognition of this the Department of Education will not be appealing the Court’s decision. The Department will also contribute towards the Australian Education Union’s legal costs. In response, the Australian Education Union is no longer seeking penalties under the Fair Work Act. The repayments include interest. Individual repayment amounts will vary depending on the type of computer used, the length of time in the program and a range of other factors. Most teachers who have taken part in the program can expect to receive several hundred dollars. No immediate changes are expected while the Department considers how best to support the program in the future. Download the Media Release (274 kB)  

Federal Court Ruling On Notebooks For Teachers And Principals Program

Some 46,000 Victorian teachers will share in about $37 million in repayments following a recent Federal Court ruling against deducting payments from teachers’ salaries for their work laptops. The decision related to the Notebooks for Teachers and Principals Program that has been in operation since 1 July 2009. The Department ceased the deductions on 13 November. The Andrews Labor Government understands that laptops have become an essential professional tool for many of our state’s teachers. In recognition of this the Department of Education will not be appealing the Court’s decision. The Department will also contribute towards the Australian Education Union’s legal costs. In response, the Australian Education Union is no longer seeking penalties under the Fair Work Act. The repayments include interest. Individual repayment amounts will vary depending on the type of computer used, the length of time in the program and a range of other factors. Most teachers who have taken part in the program can expect to receive several hundred dollars. No immediate changes are expected while the Department considers how best to support the program in the future. Download the Media Release (274 kB)  

Respectful Relationships Support Funding Announced

Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson have today announced $100,000 in funding for the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria for the Partners in Prevention program (PiP). Visiting Gisborne Secondary College, one of 19 Victorian schools participating in the pilot of the Building Respectful Relationships resource, Mr Merlino and Ms Richardson were joined by Emily Maguire, CEO of Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas. The Partners in Prevention program aims to build the capacity of staff to support schools who deliver respectful relationships education in Victoria, including those in rural and regional Victoria. The Program also seeks to build the capacity of community organisations who work with early childhood services and primary and secondary schools to support their delivery of respectful relationships education. The funding boost comes as schools across the state prepare to deliver respectful relationships education from Prep to Year 10 classrooms, beginning in 2016. As committed by the Andrews Labor Government, Respectful Relationships Education will be included in the Victorian curriculum to support students in learning how to build healthy relationships, and challenge negative gender attitudes. Run by Our Watch, the Building Respectful Relationships trial concludes at the end of this month, with a report is due to be handed to the Government in March. This report, and the findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, will inform further changes to Respectful Relationships Education and support provided to schools. Today’s visit, part of the Victoria Against Violence campaign, seeks to highlight the impact of family violence across every community in Victoria. Ms Richardson also used the visit to host a community forum on violence towards women and girls, and hear directly from local residents and organisations on its impacts. For more information on the Victoria Against Violence campaign, visit http://www.vic.gov.au/news/victoria-against-violence.html Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Teaching healthy, respectful relationships is key to preventing violence and it deserves a place in our curriculum. The experiences of Gisborne Secondary College will shape how this can be rolled out across the state.” “The Andrews Labor Government is committed to providing schools with the support they need to deliver a respectful relationships education that gives children the skills they need to have healthy, safe relationships.” Quotes attributable to Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson “This funding will allow the Domestic Violence Resource Centre to continue the important work it is doing in supporting schools and communities to develop safe, effective and sustainable prevention programs.” “Gender inequality and poor attitudes towards women are one of the key underlying causes of family violence.” Download the Media Release (328 kB)  16  0

Respectful Relationships Support Funding Announced

Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson have today announced $100,000 in funding for the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria for the Partners in Prevention program (PiP). Visiting Gisborne Secondary College, one of 19 Victorian schools participating in the pilot of the Building Respectful Relationships resource, Mr Merlino and Ms Richardson were joined by Emily Maguire, CEO of Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas. The Partners in Prevention program aims to build the capacity of staff to support schools who deliver respectful relationships education in Victoria, including those in rural and regional Victoria. The Program also seeks to build the capacity of community organisations who work with early childhood services and primary and secondary schools to support their delivery of respectful relationships education. The funding boost comes as schools across the state prepare to deliver respectful relationships education from Prep to Year 10 classrooms, beginning in 2016. As committed by the Andrews Labor Government, Respectful Relationships Education will be included in the Victorian curriculum to support students in learning how to build healthy relationships, and challenge negative gender attitudes. Run by Our Watch, the Building Respectful Relationships trial concludes at the end of this month, with a report is due to be handed to the Government in March. This report, and the findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, will inform further changes to Respectful Relationships Education and support provided to schools. Today’s visit, part of the Victoria Against Violence campaign, seeks to highlight the impact of family violence across every community in Victoria. Ms Richardson also used the visit to host a community forum on violence towards women and girls, and hear directly from local residents and organisations on its impacts. For more information on the Victoria Against Violence campaign, visit http://www.vic.gov.au/news/victoria-against-violence.html Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Teaching healthy, respectful relationships is key to preventing violence and it deserves a place in our curriculum. The experiences of Gisborne Secondary College will shape how this can be rolled out across the state.” “The Andrews Labor Government is committed to providing schools with the support they need to deliver a respectful relationships education that gives children the skills they need to have healthy, safe relationships.” Quotes attributable to Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson “This funding will allow the Domestic Violence Resource Centre to continue the important work it is doing in supporting schools and communities to develop safe, effective and sustainable prevention programs.” “Gender inequality and poor attitudes towards women are one of the key underlying causes of family violence.” Download the Media Release (328 kB)  16  0

Minister Officially Opens Arnolds Creek Primary School

Minister for Education James Merlino today joined Member for Melton, Don Nardella, in officially opening Arnolds Creek Primary School in Melton. Mr Merlino toured the school’s brand new $11.5 million facilities and met with staff and students to discuss how they are being used, before unveiling a plaque marking the school’s official opening. The school is set for a funding boost in the new year when it will receive $121,726 in equity funding, as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Education State commitment to provide an extra $566 million in funding to break the cycle of disadvantage. The 2015-16 Victorian Budget invests almost $4 billion in Victoria’s education and skills system – representing the single biggest boost to education funding in Victoria’s history. The Budget provides $325 million to renovate, refurbish or rebuild 83 schools. It will fund the first stage of an extensive asbestos removal program so that families can be assured their children are being educated in safe schools. It also includes $180 million for programs that will help families cover the extra costs of education, like camps, excursions and uniforms, so no child misses out. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino  “We’re investing almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State, so every community has access to great local schools and every child gets the chance to succeed. “I commend Principal Frank Pawlowicz and the teachers and support staff for their commitment to their students and families.” Quote attributable to Member for Melton, Don Nardella “After planning the school during Labor’s last term of office, it’s terrific that the school is now completed and officially opened.”   Download the Media Release (403 kB)

Minister Officially Opens Arnolds Creek Primary School

Minister for Education James Merlino today joined Member for Melton, Don Nardella, in officially opening Arnolds Creek Primary School in Melton. Mr Merlino toured the school’s brand new $11.5 million facilities and met with staff and students to discuss how they are being used, before unveiling a plaque marking the school’s official opening. The school is set for a funding boost in the new year when it will receive $121,726 in equity funding, as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Education State commitment to provide an extra $566 million in funding to break the cycle of disadvantage. The 2015-16 Victorian Budget invests almost $4 billion in Victoria’s education and skills system – representing the single biggest boost to education funding in Victoria’s history. The Budget provides $325 million to renovate, refurbish or rebuild 83 schools. It will fund the first stage of an extensive asbestos removal program so that families can be assured their children are being educated in safe schools. It also includes $180 million for programs that will help families cover the extra costs of education, like camps, excursions and uniforms, so no child misses out. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino  “We’re investing almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State, so every community has access to great local schools and every child gets the chance to succeed. “I commend Principal Frank Pawlowicz and the teachers and support staff for their commitment to their students and families.” Quote attributable to Member for Melton, Don Nardella “After planning the school during Labor’s last term of office, it’s terrific that the school is now completed and officially opened.”   Download the Media Release (403 kB)