• 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

Statement From The Premier

Last night, National Cabinet took another big step. I want to tell you why and let you know what we need you to do right now. The Prime Minister and other first ministers recognised that Victoria is currently grappling with a more imminent threat than most other states – because we have more cases. Because of this, we agreed states and territories will soon need to take individual measures – because this is moving at a different speed in different places. I am pleased that National Cabinet has made that decision – and tonight we’ll discuss it further. We said there would be a Stage 2 and that’s what we’re doing today. But I’ll be up front with you, there will also be a Stage 3. We need more time to get our health system ready for what’s coming. Every country in the world that is running ahead of us would give anything to have had more time. Last night, the Prime Minister went through the details of Stage 2 restrictions on non-essential venues and activities. In Victoria, those will begin at midnight tonight. We don’t take these actions lightly but to put it bluntly: if we don’t slow this thing down, we won’t just have people waiting in line for Centrelink – we’ll have people waiting in line for machines to help them breathe. I know this is stressful and I know this is scary. The measures we already have in place are difficult, and these will be harder again. I want to reassure you that things like supermarkets, petrol stations, banks, post offices and bottle shops – and a number of other essential services – will be staying open. But I want to be very clear: the more people ignore the rules and ignore the advice – the more this virus will continue to spread. There is no social occasion or celebration that’s worth more than a human life. For Victorians that means if you can stay home, you must stay home. We are all being asked to make sacrifices. Because if we don’t, people will die. A full list of Stage 1 and 2 restrictions will be available at coronavirus.vic.gov.au. Businesses seeking advice about whether they are affected can also call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15. Download the Media Release (125 KB)

Statement From The Premier

Last night, National Cabinet took another big step. I want to tell you why and let you know what we need you to do right now. The Prime Minister and other first ministers recognised that Victoria is currently grappling with a more imminent threat than most other states – because we have more cases. Because of this, we agreed states and territories will soon need to take individual measures – because this is moving at a different speed in different places. I am pleased that National Cabinet has made that decision – and tonight we’ll discuss it further. We said there would be a Stage 2 and that’s what we’re doing today. But I’ll be up front with you, there will also be a Stage 3. We need more time to get our health system ready for what’s coming. Every country in the world that is running ahead of us would give anything to have had more time. Last night, the Prime Minister went through the details of Stage 2 restrictions on non-essential venues and activities. In Victoria, those will begin at midnight tonight. We don’t take these actions lightly but to put it bluntly: if we don’t slow this thing down, we won’t just have people waiting in line for Centrelink – we’ll have people waiting in line for machines to help them breathe. I know this is stressful and I know this is scary. The measures we already have in place are difficult, and these will be harder again. I want to reassure you that things like supermarkets, petrol stations, banks, post offices and bottle shops – and a number of other essential services – will be staying open. But I want to be very clear: the more people ignore the rules and ignore the advice – the more this virus will continue to spread. There is no social occasion or celebration that’s worth more than a human life. For Victorians that means if you can stay home, you must stay home. We are all being asked to make sacrifices. Because if we don’t, people will die. A full list of Stage 1 and 2 restrictions will be available at coronavirus.vic.gov.au. Businesses seeking advice about whether they are affected can also call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15. Download the Media Release (125 KB)

Elective Surgery Wound Back To Prepare For Coronavirus

Victoria’s public hospitals have today been directed to begin winding back all non-urgent surgery, where it is safe to do so, as preparations escalate for the health system to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. While hospital admissions for coronavirus patients remain low, they are rising daily, and when peak demand from the pandemic hits Victoria’s hospitals will be seriously tested. The Victorian Government is working with public and private hospitals on a system-wide response including how to preserve critical resources for when they will need them most – that means beds, staff and supplies – not just to care for coronavirus patients but to keep looking after all Victorians in need of emergency and urgent care. From midnight, no further category three elective surgeries will take place until further notice, while category two surgeries will only happen if delays would pose a serious risk to the health of the patient. This is consistent with a decision of the National Cabinet acting on advice from the AHPPC that until further notice all elective surgery, other than urgent cases, will be suspended.  This will apply to both public and private hospitals. This will not affect emergency surgery, or category one elective surgeries including those booked in as part of our elective surgery blitz – which are considered the most urgent including urgent heart, neurological and cancer procedures. As the pandemic progresses the Department of Health and Human Services will actively plan for these services to recommence, including surge capacity to reduce waitlists, when it is safe to do so. For the latest information and advice on coronavirus visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos “We need to wind-up non urgent surgery because coronavirus cases continue to rise.” “We are making these decisions in order to protect patients, health care workers and their families from this deadly virus.” “Everybody has a role to play in slowing the spread of coronavirus and to take the pressure off our health system. Our message is clear: if you can, you must stay at home.” Download the Media Release (198 KB)  

Elective Surgery Wound Back To Prepare For Coronavirus

Victoria’s public hospitals have today been directed to begin winding back all non-urgent surgery, where it is safe to do so, as preparations escalate for the health system to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. While hospital admissions for coronavirus patients remain low, they are rising daily, and when peak demand from the pandemic hits Victoria’s hospitals will be seriously tested. The Victorian Government is working with public and private hospitals on a system-wide response including how to preserve critical resources for when they will need them most – that means beds, staff and supplies – not just to care for coronavirus patients but to keep looking after all Victorians in need of emergency and urgent care. From midnight, no further category three elective surgeries will take place until further notice, while category two surgeries will only happen if delays would pose a serious risk to the health of the patient. This is consistent with a decision of the National Cabinet acting on advice from the AHPPC that until further notice all elective surgery, other than urgent cases, will be suspended.  This will apply to both public and private hospitals. This will not affect emergency surgery, or category one elective surgeries including those booked in as part of our elective surgery blitz – which are considered the most urgent including urgent heart, neurological and cancer procedures. As the pandemic progresses the Department of Health and Human Services will actively plan for these services to recommence, including surge capacity to reduce waitlists, when it is safe to do so. For the latest information and advice on coronavirus visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos “We need to wind-up non urgent surgery because coronavirus cases continue to rise.” “We are making these decisions in order to protect patients, health care workers and their families from this deadly virus.” “Everybody has a role to play in slowing the spread of coronavirus and to take the pressure off our health system. Our message is clear: if you can, you must stay at home.” Download the Media Release (198 KB)  

Statement From The Premier

Victoria Police has established a coronavirus enforcement squad of five hundred officers to ensure containment measures that have been put in place to combat coronavirus are followed. Coordinated through the Police Operations Centre, the officers will be out in the community doing spot checks on returning travellers who are in 14-day isolation, as well as enforcing the bans on indoor and outdoor gatherings. This includes the decision of the National Cabinet to implement Stage 1 of a shutdown of non-essential activity across the country from midday today which is aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus. The businesses that will close due to the Stage 1 shutdown include pubs, clubs, nightclubs, Crown Casino, and licensed venues in hotels and pubs. It also includes gyms, indoor sporting venues, places of worship, cinemas and entertainment venues. Restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to provide home delivery or takeaway services. This decision and other containment measures are meaningless if Victorians don’t take them seriously or don’t think they will be caught if they flout the rules. Such thinking is wrong and the new coronavirus enforcement squad at Victoria Police will take action against anyone caught doing the wrong thing. The Stage 1 shutdown will have a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of many Victorians, but if we don’t do this, more Victorians will contract coronavirus and more Victorians will die. The decision will be reviewed regularly by the National Cabinet, and speaking as honestly as possible, it’s likely that governments across Australia will need to go further in the days and weeks ahead. The Government can also confirm that school holidays for government schools in Victoria will be brought forward, starting on Tuesday 24 March. Schools will use this time to support teachers and staff plan for flexible and remote learning in the event schools need to move to that method of teaching. I have recently told Victorians that the Government will ask them to do things they have never experienced before – these are the types of measures that I was talking about. I also call on every Victorian to undertake their civic duty and practice social distancing: don’t be closer than 1.5 metres from another person, wash your hands and practice good hand hygiene. Do that for yourself, your loved ones and for the loved ones of people you have never met. It will save lives. Download the Media Release (225 KB)  

Statement From The Premier

Victoria Police has established a coronavirus enforcement squad of five hundred officers to ensure containment measures that have been put in place to combat coronavirus are followed. Coordinated through the Police Operations Centre, the officers will be out in the community doing spot checks on returning travellers who are in 14-day isolation, as well as enforcing the bans on indoor and outdoor gatherings. This includes the decision of the National Cabinet to implement Stage 1 of a shutdown of non-essential activity across the country from midday today which is aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus. The businesses that will close due to the Stage 1 shutdown include pubs, clubs, nightclubs, Crown Casino, and licensed venues in hotels and pubs. It also includes gyms, indoor sporting venues, places of worship, cinemas and entertainment venues. Restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to provide home delivery or takeaway services. This decision and other containment measures are meaningless if Victorians don’t take them seriously or don’t think they will be caught if they flout the rules. Such thinking is wrong and the new coronavirus enforcement squad at Victoria Police will take action against anyone caught doing the wrong thing. The Stage 1 shutdown will have a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of many Victorians, but if we don’t do this, more Victorians will contract coronavirus and more Victorians will die. The decision will be reviewed regularly by the National Cabinet, and speaking as honestly as possible, it’s likely that governments across Australia will need to go further in the days and weeks ahead. The Government can also confirm that school holidays for government schools in Victoria will be brought forward, starting on Tuesday 24 March. Schools will use this time to support teachers and staff plan for flexible and remote learning in the event schools need to move to that method of teaching. I have recently told Victorians that the Government will ask them to do things they have never experienced before – these are the types of measures that I was talking about. I also call on every Victorian to undertake their civic duty and practice social distancing: don’t be closer than 1.5 metres from another person, wash your hands and practice good hand hygiene. Do that for yourself, your loved ones and for the loved ones of people you have never met. It will save lives. Download the Media Release (225 KB)  

Emergency Relief Packages For Victorians Who Need It Most

Victorians self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19) with no access to food and essential supplies will receive emergency relief packages under a program introduced by the Victorian Government. The program will support people in mandatory self-isolation, who have little or no food, and no network of family and friends to support them. Each eligible household will receive a two-week supply of essential goods. Food packages will include items such as long-life milk, pasta, cereal, canned vegetables and sugar. Personal care packages will also be distributed to eligible households and include soap, toothpaste and deodorant. Additional items may also be provided depending on the needs of the household, such as nappies or baby formula. The packages will be delivered door-to-door, with other distribution points to be established as required. For people who are not eligible for the emergency relief packages, they are encouraged to be self-reliant and call on the help of family and friends wherever possible during the current pandemic. The emergency relief program for those in mandatory self-isolation will be coordinated by the Red Cross in partnership with Foodbank Victoria and under the direction of the State Relief Coordinator. It will start from Monday 23 March and can be accessed by calling Victoria’s dedicated coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. The hotline can also refer people to other support services if needed. As has made clear by the major supermarkets and the Victorian Farmers Federation, there is plenty of food for all Victorians and there is no need to panic buy. To assist getting more stock to supermarkets, the Victorian Government has removed curfew restrictions on trucks across Victoria. And time limits on delivery vehicles parked in loading zones will be removed while they are dropping off or picking up goods. These are simple initiatives, but are so important to ensure supermarkets keep getting the essential goods that they need. They will be in place for the next six months. For more information about the support services people can call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit the website: dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus. Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan “We need to look out for each other over the next few months – but for people who have no one nearby to support them, we’ll make sure they get what they need.” “There is plenty of food for all Victorians so please don’t take more than you need. But if you do find yourself isolated, and can’t access the basics, we have emergency relief packages for you.” Quote attributable to Foodbank Victoria CEO David McNamara “As you saw during the bushfire crisis, Foodbank Victoria is well-placed to assist all vulnerable Victorians. At this time, when everyone’s feeling anxious and uncertain our message is – in partnership with the Government – we’re here to protect and support you, as we’ve been doing for the past 90 years.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

Emergency Relief Packages For Victorians Who Need It Most

Victorians self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19) with no access to food and essential supplies will receive emergency relief packages under a program introduced by the Victorian Government. The program will support people in mandatory self-isolation, who have little or no food, and no network of family and friends to support them. Each eligible household will receive a two-week supply of essential goods. Food packages will include items such as long-life milk, pasta, cereal, canned vegetables and sugar. Personal care packages will also be distributed to eligible households and include soap, toothpaste and deodorant. Additional items may also be provided depending on the needs of the household, such as nappies or baby formula. The packages will be delivered door-to-door, with other distribution points to be established as required. For people who are not eligible for the emergency relief packages, they are encouraged to be self-reliant and call on the help of family and friends wherever possible during the current pandemic. The emergency relief program for those in mandatory self-isolation will be coordinated by the Red Cross in partnership with Foodbank Victoria and under the direction of the State Relief Coordinator. It will start from Monday 23 March and can be accessed by calling Victoria’s dedicated coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. The hotline can also refer people to other support services if needed. As has made clear by the major supermarkets and the Victorian Farmers Federation, there is plenty of food for all Victorians and there is no need to panic buy. To assist getting more stock to supermarkets, the Victorian Government has removed curfew restrictions on trucks across Victoria. And time limits on delivery vehicles parked in loading zones will be removed while they are dropping off or picking up goods. These are simple initiatives, but are so important to ensure supermarkets keep getting the essential goods that they need. They will be in place for the next six months. For more information about the support services people can call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit the website: dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus. Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan “We need to look out for each other over the next few months – but for people who have no one nearby to support them, we’ll make sure they get what they need.” “There is plenty of food for all Victorians so please don’t take more than you need. But if you do find yourself isolated, and can’t access the basics, we have emergency relief packages for you.” Quote attributable to Foodbank Victoria CEO David McNamara “As you saw during the bushfire crisis, Foodbank Victoria is well-placed to assist all vulnerable Victorians. At this time, when everyone’s feeling anxious and uncertain our message is – in partnership with the Government – we’re here to protect and support you, as we’ve been doing for the past 90 years.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

Statement From The Premier

I will inform National Cabinet tonight that Victoria will proceed over the next 48 hours to implement a shutdown of all non-essential activity across our state to combat the spread of Coronavirus. This is not something that we do lightly, but it’s clear that if we don’t take this step, more Victorians will contract coronavirus, our hospitals will be overwhelmed and more Victorians will die. Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores. Freight, logisitics and home delivery are also considered essential and will remain open. I will also inform National Cabinet that school holidays will be brought forward in Victoria, starting on Tuesday 24 March. All measures to be implemented by Victoria are consistent with the health advice provided by the Victorian Chief Health Officer. The decision whether to re-open schools after the Term 1 holidays will likewise be determined following advice from the Chief Health Officer. I will have more to say on these measures tomorrow morning. Download the Media Release (137 KB)  

Statement From The Premier

I will inform National Cabinet tonight that Victoria will proceed over the next 48 hours to implement a shutdown of all non-essential activity across our state to combat the spread of Coronavirus. This is not something that we do lightly, but it’s clear that if we don’t take this step, more Victorians will contract coronavirus, our hospitals will be overwhelmed and more Victorians will die. Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores. Freight, logisitics and home delivery are also considered essential and will remain open. I will also inform National Cabinet that school holidays will be brought forward in Victoria, starting on Tuesday 24 March. All measures to be implemented by Victoria are consistent with the health advice provided by the Victorian Chief Health Officer. The decision whether to re-open schools after the Term 1 holidays will likewise be determined following advice from the Chief Health Officer. I will have more to say on these measures tomorrow morning. Download the Media Release (137 KB)  

Economic Survival Package To Support Businesses And Jobs

The Victorian Government will pump billions of dollars into the economy to help Victorian businesses and workers survive the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Premier Daniel Andrews and Treasurer Tim Pallas today announced a $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package, which has been developed following discussions at National Cabinet and complements the work of the Federal Government. As part of the package, the Government will provide full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million – giving $550 million back to businesses who need it. Payments will start flowing next week and will save eligible business up to $113,975 a year, with businesses saving an average of $23,000. These businesses employ around 400,000 workers. This assistance is a refund, not a loan. The same businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021, freeing up a further $83 million in cashflow. Commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief – a move private landlords are also being encouraged to undertake – and 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible small businesses. The Government will pay all outstanding supplier invoices within five business days – releasing up to $750 million into the economy earlier. The private sector is urged to do the same where possible. The Government will also support the hospitality sector by waiving liquor licensing fees for 2020 for affected venues and small businesses. We will also provide $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund. The fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail. The Government will work with the Victorian Chamber, Australian Hotels Association and Ai Group to administer the fund, which will help these businesses – which may not be eligible for payroll tax refunds due to their size – survive and keep people in work. The Government will establish a $500 million Working for Victoria Fund in consultation with the Victorian Council of Social Services and Victorian Trades Hall Council. The fund will help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities, including work cleaning public infrastructure or delivering food – providing vital contributions to our state’s response to the pandemic and affording those Victorians security when its needed most. The Government will also facilitate job matching to help Victorians find short-term or casual roles. Due to the ongoing economic uncertainty the pandemic is causing, the 2020-21 Victorian Budget will be deferred – in line with all other Australian Governments and agreed by National Cabinet. The Government’s base review outcomes will also be deferred. The comprehensive package announced today has been developed to support small and medium sized businesses, and the Government is asking businesses to do whatever they can to support their workers. The Government will continue to work closely with business and unions, and will announce further support over the coming weeks and months, in consultation with the Commonwealth, as the impacts of the coronavirus continue to evolve. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We’ve listened to business and workers and now we’re taking unique and unprecedented action to help businesses and their workers through this crisis.” “Cash is better in the hands of struggling businesses than in a Government bank account right now – Victorian workers need us to step up to help get them through” Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “This is the first of many announcements we will make to help Victorian businesses survive and keep people in work.” “We’re working in lock-step with the Federal Government to make sure our support complements their work as we weather this unprecedented global economic storm.” Download the Media Release (198 KB)  

Economic Survival Package To Support Businesses And Jobs

The Victorian Government will pump billions of dollars into the economy to help Victorian businesses and workers survive the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Premier Daniel Andrews and Treasurer Tim Pallas today announced a $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package, which has been developed following discussions at National Cabinet and complements the work of the Federal Government. As part of the package, the Government will provide full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million – giving $550 million back to businesses who need it. Payments will start flowing next week and will save eligible business up to $113,975 a year, with businesses saving an average of $23,000. These businesses employ around 400,000 workers. This assistance is a refund, not a loan. The same businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021, freeing up a further $83 million in cashflow. Commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief – a move private landlords are also being encouraged to undertake – and 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible small businesses. The Government will pay all outstanding supplier invoices within five business days – releasing up to $750 million into the economy earlier. The private sector is urged to do the same where possible. The Government will also support the hospitality sector by waiving liquor licensing fees for 2020 for affected venues and small businesses. We will also provide $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund. The fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail. The Government will work with the Victorian Chamber, Australian Hotels Association and Ai Group to administer the fund, which will help these businesses – which may not be eligible for payroll tax refunds due to their size – survive and keep people in work. The Government will establish a $500 million Working for Victoria Fund in consultation with the Victorian Council of Social Services and Victorian Trades Hall Council. The fund will help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities, including work cleaning public infrastructure or delivering food – providing vital contributions to our state’s response to the pandemic and affording those Victorians security when its needed most. The Government will also facilitate job matching to help Victorians find short-term or casual roles. Due to the ongoing economic uncertainty the pandemic is causing, the 2020-21 Victorian Budget will be deferred – in line with all other Australian Governments and agreed by National Cabinet. The Government’s base review outcomes will also be deferred. The comprehensive package announced today has been developed to support small and medium sized businesses, and the Government is asking businesses to do whatever they can to support their workers. The Government will continue to work closely with business and unions, and will announce further support over the coming weeks and months, in consultation with the Commonwealth, as the impacts of the coronavirus continue to evolve. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We’ve listened to business and workers and now we’re taking unique and unprecedented action to help businesses and their workers through this crisis.” “Cash is better in the hands of struggling businesses than in a Government bank account right now – Victorian workers need us to step up to help get them through” Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas “This is the first of many announcements we will make to help Victorian businesses survive and keep people in work.” “We’re working in lock-step with the Federal Government to make sure our support complements their work as we weather this unprecedented global economic storm.” Download the Media Release (198 KB)  

Helping Victorian Parents Find Their Local School

The Andrews Labor Government’s Findmyschool website has been updated so parents continue to have the latest information to find out the school zone they live in. Minister for Education James Merlino said the updates include school zones for the 14 new schools opening at the start of 2021. Every child has the right to enrol at their closest government school or, if there is capacity, at another school of their choice. No student currently enrolled in a school will be required to change schools. The website allows parents to find their closest Government school and other nearby government schools, giving parents clarity and consistency on what their public school options are. Schools can be found by typing in a residential address or searching by school name. Findmyschool will show the zone for the current enrolment year and the 2021 enrolment year. When the site was launched last year, it was the first-time school zone maps became easily accessible in one place, giving schools and parents access to an official source of information on government school zones. The Labor Government is building the Education State so every student can access a great local school and education. It has invested $6.1 billion to deliver more than 1,400 school upgrades, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs, and will open 100 new schools by 2026 to ensure all families have access to a great local school. Parents can look up their schools online at: Findmyschool.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’ll open 100 new Government schools by 2026 and the latest update to Findmyschool.vic.gov.au includes school zones for the 14 new schools opening next year.” “The website takes the guess work out of identifying their closest government school, giving parents the clarity they need when deciding which school to enrol their child in.” Download the Media Release (201 KB)  

Helping Victorian Parents Find Their Local School

The Andrews Labor Government’s Findmyschool website has been updated so parents continue to have the latest information to find out the school zone they live in. Minister for Education James Merlino said the updates include school zones for the 14 new schools opening at the start of 2021. Every child has the right to enrol at their closest government school or, if there is capacity, at another school of their choice. No student currently enrolled in a school will be required to change schools. The website allows parents to find their closest Government school and other nearby government schools, giving parents clarity and consistency on what their public school options are. Schools can be found by typing in a residential address or searching by school name. Findmyschool will show the zone for the current enrolment year and the 2021 enrolment year. When the site was launched last year, it was the first-time school zone maps became easily accessible in one place, giving schools and parents access to an official source of information on government school zones. The Labor Government is building the Education State so every student can access a great local school and education. It has invested $6.1 billion to deliver more than 1,400 school upgrades, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs, and will open 100 new schools by 2026 to ensure all families have access to a great local school. Parents can look up their schools online at: Findmyschool.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’ll open 100 new Government schools by 2026 and the latest update to Findmyschool.vic.gov.au includes school zones for the 14 new schools opening next year.” “The website takes the guess work out of identifying their closest government school, giving parents the clarity they need when deciding which school to enrol their child in.” Download the Media Release (201 KB)  

Hotline Help For Businesses Dealing With COVID-19 Impacts

The Andrews Labor Government today launched a hotline for businesses dealing with the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic is creating issues for businesses large and small who are facing a downturn in trade, bans on events and restrictions on indoor gatherings, as well as challenges in dealing with employee safety and entitlements. Given the rapidly changing nature of the crisis, businesses need quick access to accurate information on how to keep their workplace safe, and advice on how to plan to deal with the current situation and anticipate likely developments. Businesses across the state can now access information on dealing with COVID-19 by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15. Operators calling the hotline will be able to get information about support services, including those available through Business Victoria, which offers mentoring to help operators develop business continuity and recovery plans. The hotline will provide the latest information on the response to COVID-19 and how this affects businesses, including how to access financial support available through the national stimulus package. In addition to calling the Business Victoria hotline, business operators can also find information at business.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “The COVID-19 outbreak is hurting Victorian businesses and an important way that we can help is by giving them access to the information they need to make key decisions.” “This dedicated hotline will help businesses of all sizes get the facts and connect them with support services so they can best weather this storm.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business Adem Somyurek “Small businesses make an enormous contribution to the economy and to the communities they serve.” “We are listening to small businesses and I will be meeting with my small business advisory council and multicultural business council to gain further insights into the challenges at hand.” Download the Media Release (191 KB)  

Hotline Help For Businesses Dealing With COVID-19 Impacts

The Andrews Labor Government today launched a hotline for businesses dealing with the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic is creating issues for businesses large and small who are facing a downturn in trade, bans on events and restrictions on indoor gatherings, as well as challenges in dealing with employee safety and entitlements. Given the rapidly changing nature of the crisis, businesses need quick access to accurate information on how to keep their workplace safe, and advice on how to plan to deal with the current situation and anticipate likely developments. Businesses across the state can now access information on dealing with COVID-19 by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15. Operators calling the hotline will be able to get information about support services, including those available through Business Victoria, which offers mentoring to help operators develop business continuity and recovery plans. The hotline will provide the latest information on the response to COVID-19 and how this affects businesses, including how to access financial support available through the national stimulus package. In addition to calling the Business Victoria hotline, business operators can also find information at business.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “The COVID-19 outbreak is hurting Victorian businesses and an important way that we can help is by giving them access to the information they need to make key decisions.” “This dedicated hotline will help businesses of all sizes get the facts and connect them with support services so they can best weather this storm.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business Adem Somyurek “Small businesses make an enormous contribution to the economy and to the communities they serve.” “We are listening to small businesses and I will be meeting with my small business advisory council and multicultural business council to gain further insights into the challenges at hand.” Download the Media Release (191 KB)  

 

Premiers’ Reading Challenge Gets Kids Reading Everyday

Victorian children and young people are preparing to take on the challenge to read more books as the Premiers’ Reading Challenge gets underway. Minister for Education James Merlino today launched the Premiers’ Reading Challenge 2020, with thousands of avid readers expected to take part in schools, early childhood centres and homes across the state. Now in its 16th year, the Premiers’ Reading Challenge continues to inspire more children to read, helping to build essential literacy skills that support their education. The theme of this year’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge is ‘Reading: Everybody. Everyday.’ The 2020 artwork has been designed by Jess McGeachin, whose debut picture book ‘Fly’, published in 2019, was shortlisted for the World Illustration awards. Students in Years 3-10 need to read at least 15 books in the six months from March to September to complete the challenge. For prep-Year 2 students, the challenge is to read or experience 30 books. More than 12,000 books feature on the list – 150 of them new. Children can read picture books, short stories, poems or non-fiction books in any language as part of the challenge. Children who have not yet started school are challenged to read or experience 40 books with the help of their families as part of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years. A key Education State target is increasing the number of Year 5 and Year 9 students reaching the highest levels of achievement in reading by 25 per cent – the Challenge is an important initiative in striving to meet this target. Last year 113,000 students and children from 956 local schools, 1,367 early childhood services and homes across the state completed the Challenge and got lost in the pages of more than 4.3 million books. Since the challenge began in 2005, more than 3 million students in Victoria have read nearly 50 million books. For more information, visit education.vic.gov.au/prc. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Good luck to every household taking on the Premiers’ Reading Challenge in 2020 – I hope you find adventure on every page.” “Supporting children to read is one of the most powerful things you can do to encourage a love of reading and literacy – developing skills that will set them up for life.” Download the Media Release (200 KB)

Premiers’ Reading Challenge Gets Kids Reading Everyday

Victorian children and young people are preparing to take on the challenge to read more books as the Premiers’ Reading Challenge gets underway. Minister for Education James Merlino today launched the Premiers’ Reading Challenge 2020, with thousands of avid readers expected to take part in schools, early childhood centres and homes across the state. Now in its 16th year, the Premiers’ Reading Challenge continues to inspire more children to read, helping to build essential literacy skills that support their education. The theme of this year’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge is ‘Reading: Everybody. Everyday.’ The 2020 artwork has been designed by Jess McGeachin, whose debut picture book ‘Fly’, published in 2019, was shortlisted for the World Illustration awards. Students in Years 3-10 need to read at least 15 books in the six months from March to September to complete the challenge. For prep-Year 2 students, the challenge is to read or experience 30 books. More than 12,000 books feature on the list – 150 of them new. Children can read picture books, short stories, poems or non-fiction books in any language as part of the challenge. Children who have not yet started school are challenged to read or experience 40 books with the help of their families as part of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years. A key Education State target is increasing the number of Year 5 and Year 9 students reaching the highest levels of achievement in reading by 25 per cent – the Challenge is an important initiative in striving to meet this target. Last year 113,000 students and children from 956 local schools, 1,367 early childhood services and homes across the state completed the Challenge and got lost in the pages of more than 4.3 million books. Since the challenge began in 2005, more than 3 million students in Victoria have read nearly 50 million books. For more information, visit education.vic.gov.au/prc. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Good luck to every household taking on the Premiers’ Reading Challenge in 2020 – I hope you find adventure on every page.” “Supporting children to read is one of the most powerful things you can do to encourage a love of reading and literacy – developing skills that will set them up for life.” Download the Media Release (200 KB)

New Website To Help Closed Schools Continue Teaching

A new website has been launched to help teachers keep students learning in the event a school is closed because of COVID-19. Launched today, the new Learning From Home site provides age-appropriate, curriculum-based learning resources for early childhood services and primary and secondary school students. Minister for Education James Merlino said the new website would ensure children don’t miss out on learning because their school has closed due to COVID-19. In the event that the Chief Health Officer recommends a school close due to a confirmed case of COVID-19, teachers will continue to work remotely. This new website contains advice on communicating with students and provides teachers with information on how they can best support student learning during a closure. The website has been developed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and will complement existing online resources available to schools, such as the Compass system, which is used to communicate with students and parents, and the FUSE suite of teaching resources. The website will continue to be updated with more resources and advice over the coming weeks and will be available to Independent and Catholic schools. Many schools are already experienced in supporting student learning online. Schools are also preparing to provide online, hard copy and USB education options that can be completed by students at home. We are currently working with internet providers to give students without internet connection at home access to 4G. Any decision to close a school will be made on the recommendation of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer – this will be communicated immediately to all parents, students and staff at the affected school or schools. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are preparing for every possible scenario during this outbreak to ensure Victorian students in government, independent and Catholic schools continue to learn – that is why Learning From Home is so important.”  “Many schools already have a range of tools available to help them teach remotely, and many schools are experienced in supporting student learning online.” “The current advice from the Chief Health Officer and the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer is that mass school closures are not needed at this stage – if this changes, we won’t hesitate to act.” Download the Media Release (196 KB)

New Website To Help Closed Schools Continue Teaching

A new website has been launched to help teachers keep students learning in the event a school is closed because of COVID-19. Launched today, the new Learning From Home site provides age-appropriate, curriculum-based learning resources for early childhood services and primary and secondary school students. Minister for Education James Merlino said the new website would ensure children don’t miss out on learning because their school has closed due to COVID-19. In the event that the Chief Health Officer recommends a school close due to a confirmed case of COVID-19, teachers will continue to work remotely. This new website contains advice on communicating with students and provides teachers with information on how they can best support student learning during a closure. The website has been developed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and will complement existing online resources available to schools, such as the Compass system, which is used to communicate with students and parents, and the FUSE suite of teaching resources. The website will continue to be updated with more resources and advice over the coming weeks and will be available to Independent and Catholic schools. Many schools are already experienced in supporting student learning online. Schools are also preparing to provide online, hard copy and USB education options that can be completed by students at home. We are currently working with internet providers to give students without internet connection at home access to 4G. Any decision to close a school will be made on the recommendation of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer – this will be communicated immediately to all parents, students and staff at the affected school or schools. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are preparing for every possible scenario during this outbreak to ensure Victorian students in government, independent and Catholic schools continue to learn – that is why Learning From Home is so important.”  “Many schools already have a range of tools available to help them teach remotely, and many schools are experienced in supporting student learning online.” “The current advice from the Chief Health Officer and the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer is that mass school closures are not needed at this stage – if this changes, we won’t hesitate to act.” Download the Media Release (196 KB)

Impressive New Sporting And Arts Facilities For Upwey High

Students and the wider community can now enjoy new first-rate performing arts and sports facilities at Upwey High School, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the school to officially open its new multipurpose building, which includes a competition-grade gymnasium featuring four basketball courts, impressive new performing arts spaces and administration wing. The new facilities will also be enjoyed by the wider hills community. This includes the Sherbrooke Amateur Basketball Association using the four court gym and the creation of a new home at the Dandenong Ranges Music Council. The Labor Government has invested $26.8 million to modernise and upgrade Upwey High School since 2016. Students and staff can look forward to further upgrades, with the school’s old stadium to be demolished and replaced with a science, technology and arts centre, set to open in 2021. Existing buildings are also being refurbished as part of the works. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and education. It has invested $6.1 billion to deliver more than 1,400 school upgrades, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs, and committed to opening 100 new schools by 2026 to ensure all families have access to a great local school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino  “It is wonderful to see this impressive new building open at Upwey High School, giving staff and students the modern facilities they deserve.” “With these new sporting and performing arts spaces not just to be enjoyed by students but the wider community Upwey High School will become an even greater community hub.” Download the Media Release (196 KB)  

Impressive New Sporting And Arts Facilities For Upwey High

Students and the wider community can now enjoy new first-rate performing arts and sports facilities at Upwey High School, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited the school to officially open its new multipurpose building, which includes a competition-grade gymnasium featuring four basketball courts, impressive new performing arts spaces and administration wing. The new facilities will also be enjoyed by the wider hills community. This includes the Sherbrooke Amateur Basketball Association using the four court gym and the creation of a new home at the Dandenong Ranges Music Council. The Labor Government has invested $26.8 million to modernise and upgrade Upwey High School since 2016. Students and staff can look forward to further upgrades, with the school’s old stadium to be demolished and replaced with a science, technology and arts centre, set to open in 2021. Existing buildings are also being refurbished as part of the works. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and education. It has invested $6.1 billion to deliver more than 1,400 school upgrades, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs, and committed to opening 100 new schools by 2026 to ensure all families have access to a great local school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino  “It is wonderful to see this impressive new building open at Upwey High School, giving staff and students the modern facilities they deserve.” “With these new sporting and performing arts spaces not just to be enjoyed by students but the wider community Upwey High School will become an even greater community hub.” Download the Media Release (196 KB)  

New Kinder Hub Opens In Morwell

Morwell families will have access to more kindergarten places thanks to a new one-stop-shop bringing together kinder, school and family services at a single location. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened the $6.5 million integrated children’s centre which is co-located at Morwell Central Primary School. The new facility delivers early childhood services such as three and four-year-old kindergarten, long day care, Maternal and Child Health services and multipurpose rooms for playgroups and other community activities. Having an early learning centre at the school means drop-off times will be easier for parents of young children, while also providing greater support for children in their transition from kindergarten to school. The Andrews Labor Government has contributed $4.9 million to the new centre which is a collaboration that includes the Colman Foundation and Goodstart. Goodstart also contributed $1.6 million to the build, which is expected to be operational by 2020. The state’s biggest early education build will continue over the coming years, with almost 1,000 new and upgraded kindergartens to come. Under a Labor Government commitment, every new Victorian primary school being built will have a kindergarten on-site or next door, reducing the burden on parents and helping to build the Education State. The commitment will see more than $1.6 billion spent over the next decade to build and expand almost 1,000 kindergartens. This is part of the Government’s $5 billion commitment to provide access to a full 15 hours of universal funded Three-Year-Old Kinder to every Victorian child over this decade, with the rollout beginning in 2020. This is about ensuring Morwell families have access to stronger support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years, which is why we’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “This exciting project will give Morwell families access to a first-rate early years facility and help their children get the most out of kinder.”   Download the Media Release (239 KB)  

New Kinder Hub Opens In Morwell

Morwell families will have access to more kindergarten places thanks to a new one-stop-shop bringing together kinder, school and family services at a single location. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened the $6.5 million integrated children’s centre which is co-located at Morwell Central Primary School. The new facility delivers early childhood services such as three and four-year-old kindergarten, long day care, Maternal and Child Health services and multipurpose rooms for playgroups and other community activities. Having an early learning centre at the school means drop-off times will be easier for parents of young children, while also providing greater support for children in their transition from kindergarten to school. The Andrews Labor Government has contributed $4.9 million to the new centre which is a collaboration that includes the Colman Foundation and Goodstart. Goodstart also contributed $1.6 million to the build, which is expected to be operational by 2020. The state’s biggest early education build will continue over the coming years, with almost 1,000 new and upgraded kindergartens to come. Under a Labor Government commitment, every new Victorian primary school being built will have a kindergarten on-site or next door, reducing the burden on parents and helping to build the Education State. The commitment will see more than $1.6 billion spent over the next decade to build and expand almost 1,000 kindergartens. This is part of the Government’s $5 billion commitment to provide access to a full 15 hours of universal funded Three-Year-Old Kinder to every Victorian child over this decade, with the rollout beginning in 2020. This is about ensuring Morwell families have access to stronger support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years, which is why we’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “This exciting project will give Morwell families access to a first-rate early years facility and help their children get the most out of kinder.”   Download the Media Release (239 KB)  

Supporting The Kindergarten Building Boom In Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government is helping build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state as it gets on with rolling out Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Lucknow Primary School to announce a new kindergarten would be built at the school, helping families ditch the dreaded double drop-off. The Labor Government will fund a two-room kinder, creating 66 places for local three and four-year-old children, which is set to open in Bairnsdale in Term 1, 2022. Minister Merlino today also launched the new Building Blocks grants program, which will streamline all pre-exisiting kindergarten grants into one process with applications for funding now open for local councils and not-for-profit organisations delivering kindergarten facilities. The program will allocate the $156.6 million over five years made available in the 2019-20 Budget as the first instalment of funding for Three Year Old Kindergarten. Building Blocks, which will replace previous grants streams, will include significant increases to the maximum state funding contributions for projects and offer new delivery options such as purpose-built modular kinder facilities. Funding applications are now open under the Building Blocks capacity stream for projects that create additional kindergarten places for three and four-year-olds. Councils and non-profit organisations can apply for up to $1.5 million for a New Early Learning Facility, including under the new modular kindergarten facility option, up to $600,000 for an expansion, or up to $2 million for a new Integrated Children’s Centre. The Labor Government is also investing $4.4 million to provide all local councils with grants, of up to $90,000, to support their long-term planning of early childhood infrastructure as Three-Year-Old Kindergarten is rolled out. This is part of the Labor Government’s $5 billion commitment to deliver two years of funded kinder for all Victorian children – in an Australian-first. The reform has started in six regional local government areas in 2020, with families in a further 15 regional LGAs – including East Gippsland – to benefit in 2021. As part of this roll-out, the Government is upgrading infrastructure through a $1.68 billion co-investment with the early childhood sector to build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services as part of our historic $5 billion investment in delivering universal funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.”  “Through Building Blocks, the Victorian Government will be providing greater flexibility, greater certainty and greater investment for local councils and not-for-profit organisations on their early years infrastructure projects.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “It’s so exciting that we’re not only providing local children with a great new kindergarten but once completed, it will help make the transition to school that much easier for children who go on to Lucknow Primary School.” Download the Media Release (208 KB)  

Supporting The Kindergarten Building Boom In Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government is helping build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state as it gets on with rolling out Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Lucknow Primary School to announce a new kindergarten would be built at the school, helping families ditch the dreaded double drop-off. The Labor Government will fund a two-room kinder, creating 66 places for local three and four-year-old children, which is set to open in Bairnsdale in Term 1, 2022. Minister Merlino today also launched the new Building Blocks grants program, which will streamline all pre-exisiting kindergarten grants into one process with applications for funding now open for local councils and not-for-profit organisations delivering kindergarten facilities. The program will allocate the $156.6 million over five years made available in the 2019-20 Budget as the first instalment of funding for Three Year Old Kindergarten. Building Blocks, which will replace previous grants streams, will include significant increases to the maximum state funding contributions for projects and offer new delivery options such as purpose-built modular kinder facilities. Funding applications are now open under the Building Blocks capacity stream for projects that create additional kindergarten places for three and four-year-olds. Councils and non-profit organisations can apply for up to $1.5 million for a New Early Learning Facility, including under the new modular kindergarten facility option, up to $600,000 for an expansion, or up to $2 million for a new Integrated Children’s Centre. The Labor Government is also investing $4.4 million to provide all local councils with grants, of up to $90,000, to support their long-term planning of early childhood infrastructure as Three-Year-Old Kindergarten is rolled out. This is part of the Labor Government’s $5 billion commitment to deliver two years of funded kinder for all Victorian children – in an Australian-first. The reform has started in six regional local government areas in 2020, with families in a further 15 regional LGAs – including East Gippsland – to benefit in 2021. As part of this roll-out, the Government is upgrading infrastructure through a $1.68 billion co-investment with the early childhood sector to build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services as part of our historic $5 billion investment in delivering universal funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.”  “Through Building Blocks, the Victorian Government will be providing greater flexibility, greater certainty and greater investment for local councils and not-for-profit organisations on their early years infrastructure projects.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “It’s so exciting that we’re not only providing local children with a great new kindergarten but once completed, it will help make the transition to school that much easier for children who go on to Lucknow Primary School.” Download the Media Release (208 KB)  

New Certificates For Year 9 Learning Growth And Achievement

In an Australian first, the learning growth of Year 9 students in Victoria and their success in NAPLAN testing will be properly recognised, with the introduction of Year 9 Certificates of Achievement. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that certificates will be awarded to Year 9 students who excel in NAPLAN or significantly improve their results, to recognise excellence and keep students engaged. The introduction of these new certificates is a game-changer – for the first time giving equal importance to student learning gain, as well as the level of learning achieved. This reflects the advice of many education experts who argue that student growth in learning is the most important measure of success. Year 9 students will receive a certificate for achieving a result in Reading and/or Numeracy that places them in the very top band of NAPLAN, as well as certificates for those who significantly improve on their Year 7 results. The new certificates will celebrate those who achieve the highest level and those who excel by making exceptional progress, irrespective of where they start. The introduction of the certificates is supported by the Minister’s Secondary School Principals’ Advisory Group, whose resounding message was that by the time Year 9s are sitting NAPLAN, they are bored and disengaged with the test, with many students not seeing the relevance of the exercise. The principals were also very strong advocates for the importance of recognising learning growth as well as attainment. The Andrews Labor Government has invested $12.9 billion into schools to make sure every student has access to a great school and outstanding teaching to help them reach their potential. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a great education. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “It’s time to change the national debate about what student success and teacher excellence look like – education experts are consistently saying we need to celebrate the students who are making progress in their learning, not just students who are high achievers.” “We know Victorian primary school and 7 students are doing well in NAPLAN, but unfortunately the most recent Year 9 results don’t reflect what these students are truly capable of.” “The resounding message we are hearing from teachers and principals is that by Year 9, students have done the test three times and don’t see it as useful or relevant – these certificates will help encourage students to engage with the test and show us what they can do.” Download the Media Release (206 KB)  

New Certificates For Year 9 Learning Growth And Achievement

In an Australian first, the learning growth of Year 9 students in Victoria and their success in NAPLAN testing will be properly recognised, with the introduction of Year 9 Certificates of Achievement. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that certificates will be awarded to Year 9 students who excel in NAPLAN or significantly improve their results, to recognise excellence and keep students engaged. The introduction of these new certificates is a game-changer – for the first time giving equal importance to student learning gain, as well as the level of learning achieved. This reflects the advice of many education experts who argue that student growth in learning is the most important measure of success. Year 9 students will receive a certificate for achieving a result in Reading and/or Numeracy that places them in the very top band of NAPLAN, as well as certificates for those who significantly improve on their Year 7 results. The new certificates will celebrate those who achieve the highest level and those who excel by making exceptional progress, irrespective of where they start. The introduction of the certificates is supported by the Minister’s Secondary School Principals’ Advisory Group, whose resounding message was that by the time Year 9s are sitting NAPLAN, they are bored and disengaged with the test, with many students not seeing the relevance of the exercise. The principals were also very strong advocates for the importance of recognising learning growth as well as attainment. The Andrews Labor Government has invested $12.9 billion into schools to make sure every student has access to a great school and outstanding teaching to help them reach their potential. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a great education. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “It’s time to change the national debate about what student success and teacher excellence look like – education experts are consistently saying we need to celebrate the students who are making progress in their learning, not just students who are high achievers.” “We know Victorian primary school and 7 students are doing well in NAPLAN, but unfortunately the most recent Year 9 results don’t reflect what these students are truly capable of.” “The resounding message we are hearing from teachers and principals is that by Year 9, students have done the test three times and don’t see it as useful or relevant – these certificates will help encourage students to engage with the test and show us what they can do.” Download the Media Release (206 KB)  

Improving Oversight And Safety In Boarding Schools

The Andrews Labor Government has introduced new laws to ensure boarding schools are registered, regulated and safer for students. The Education and Training Reform Amendment (Regulation of Student Accommodation) Bill 2020, introduced into Victorian Parliament this week, will expand the regulatory powers of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) to include school boarding premises. The changes will require all school boarding premises to comply with existing registration requirements for schools in relation to child safety, including managing the risk of child abuse. This will apply to boarding premises associated with government, Catholic and independent schools. There are currently no government regulators that directly monitor the compliance of school boarding premises with the Victorian Child Safe Standards. The regulation of school boarding premises for compliance with Child Safe Standards was one of the recommendations to come from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which identified boarding schools as a high-risk environment for students. If school boarding premises are found to be non-compliant with any prescribed minimum standards for registration, the VRQA will have the power to take compliance or enforcement action. These new requirements are expected to commence by Term 1, 2021. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The safety and wellbeing of Victorian children is always our priority – that’s why we’re delivering on this important recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.” “Ensuring that school boarding premises are registered and meeting Child Safe Standard requirements will help keep kids safe when they’re away from home.” Download the Media Release (196 KB)  

Improving Oversight And Safety In Boarding Schools

The Andrews Labor Government has introduced new laws to ensure boarding schools are registered, regulated and safer for students. The Education and Training Reform Amendment (Regulation of Student Accommodation) Bill 2020, introduced into Victorian Parliament this week, will expand the regulatory powers of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) to include school boarding premises. The changes will require all school boarding premises to comply with existing registration requirements for schools in relation to child safety, including managing the risk of child abuse. This will apply to boarding premises associated with government, Catholic and independent schools. There are currently no government regulators that directly monitor the compliance of school boarding premises with the Victorian Child Safe Standards. The regulation of school boarding premises for compliance with Child Safe Standards was one of the recommendations to come from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which identified boarding schools as a high-risk environment for students. If school boarding premises are found to be non-compliant with any prescribed minimum standards for registration, the VRQA will have the power to take compliance or enforcement action. These new requirements are expected to commence by Term 1, 2021. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The safety and wellbeing of Victorian children is always our priority – that’s why we’re delivering on this important recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.” “Ensuring that school boarding premises are registered and meeting Child Safe Standard requirements will help keep kids safe when they’re away from home.” Download the Media Release (196 KB)  

Community To Have Their Say On Clifton Creek Primary

The Andrews Labor Government is engaging with students, families and the local community on the re-build of Clifton Creek Primary School following the devastating bushfires that destroyed the school. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened community consultation to gain insights that will help inform the design process of the school’s long-term rebuild. Work is underway at the existing school site, with oval works and the installation of new play equipment to provide students with the first-rate outdoor facilities they deserve. Portable classrooms have also recently been delivered. The school has been temporarily relocated to nearby Nicholson Primary School to ensure classes can continue and students and staff have the facilities they need. Support services, including counselling, have been made available to staff and students. The Department is working with local families and students on an appropriate time to return to the existing school site. The consultation period will run until Wednesday 25 March. To have their say, community members can visit: https://engage.vic.gov.au/clifton-creek-primary-school-rebuild The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a great education. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Schools are often at the heart of their local community and used in a variety of ways and that’s why rebuilding Clifton Creek Primary School is so important.  “We want students, families and the local community to let us know what’s important to them in the rebuild.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “These bushfires have devastated many communities across East Gippsland and we’re doing everything we can to support our students and staff.”   Download the Media Release (191 KB)  

Community To Have Their Say On Clifton Creek Primary

The Andrews Labor Government is engaging with students, families and the local community on the re-build of Clifton Creek Primary School following the devastating bushfires that destroyed the school. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened community consultation to gain insights that will help inform the design process of the school’s long-term rebuild. Work is underway at the existing school site, with oval works and the installation of new play equipment to provide students with the first-rate outdoor facilities they deserve. Portable classrooms have also recently been delivered. The school has been temporarily relocated to nearby Nicholson Primary School to ensure classes can continue and students and staff have the facilities they need. Support services, including counselling, have been made available to staff and students. The Department is working with local families and students on an appropriate time to return to the existing school site. The consultation period will run until Wednesday 25 March. To have their say, community members can visit: https://engage.vic.gov.au/clifton-creek-primary-school-rebuild The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a great education. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Schools are often at the heart of their local community and used in a variety of ways and that’s why rebuilding Clifton Creek Primary School is so important.  “We want students, families and the local community to let us know what’s important to them in the rebuild.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “These bushfires have devastated many communities across East Gippsland and we’re doing everything we can to support our students and staff.”   Download the Media Release (191 KB)