• 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

First Wave Of Students Back In The Classroom

Schools across Victoria today welcomed back around 400,000 students as part of a staged return to classroom teaching. Minister For Education James Merlino congratulated principals, teachers, school staff, students and families for their incredible efforts to make remote learning work, and announced a summit to discuss lessons learnt and investigate what improvements can be made to the education system as a result of the remote learning experience. While remote learning has presented challenges, a significant number of schools also reported benefits from remote learning – for students who have previously been disengaged or distracted in the classroom, and for high-ability students who have been able to learn at their own pace. Some students whose learning has been affected by anxiety or other mental health conditions have also shown significant benefits from remote learning. The summit will be held in June, following an independent analysis of the experience at schools across the state, and bring together education leaders from the government, Catholic and independent school sectors. Around 257,000 government school students from Prep, Grade 1, Grade 2, VCE and VCAL, and specialist schools returned to classrooms today – the first step in all students returning for face-to-face learning on 9  June. Until then, most Grade 3 to Year 10 students will continue learning remotely, allowing the Chief Health Officer to monitor and evaluate the effects the return to school by other year levels has on the increased movement of people and transmission of coronavirus within the community. As students return to on-site learning, schools are implementing staggered drop-off and pick-ups to reduce the number of adults around school grounds at any one time, as well as staggered break times to manage the number of students mixing across year levels. All schools will implement physical distancing measures for their staff, and school staff have been prioritised for voluntary coronavirus testing in the lead-up to today’s return to on-site schooling. The Victorian Government is also investing up to $45 million for increased daily cleaning at every government school for the rest of Term 2 and 3. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Remote learning hasn’t been easy, but I couldn’t be prouder of how our principals, teachers, support staff, students and families have responded to the challenge.” “The advice from the Chief Health Officer is for students to begin a phased return to face-to-face learning – and that’s what’s happening today. Having close to a million students learning from home has made a huge contribution to limiting the number of people moving around the community and reducing the spread of the virus.” “This is a real opportunity to improve our education system and learn lessons from this remote learning experience. This summit will be a way for all of our school sectors to come together and report back about the benefits they experienced.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

First Wave Of Students Back In The Classroom

Schools across Victoria today welcomed back around 400,000 students as part of a staged return to classroom teaching. Minister For Education James Merlino congratulated principals, teachers, school staff, students and families for their incredible efforts to make remote learning work, and announced a summit to discuss lessons learnt and investigate what improvements can be made to the education system as a result of the remote learning experience. While remote learning has presented challenges, a significant number of schools also reported benefits from remote learning – for students who have previously been disengaged or distracted in the classroom, and for high-ability students who have been able to learn at their own pace. Some students whose learning has been affected by anxiety or other mental health conditions have also shown significant benefits from remote learning. The summit will be held in June, following an independent analysis of the experience at schools across the state, and bring together education leaders from the government, Catholic and independent school sectors. Around 257,000 government school students from Prep, Grade 1, Grade 2, VCE and VCAL, and specialist schools returned to classrooms today – the first step in all students returning for face-to-face learning on 9  June. Until then, most Grade 3 to Year 10 students will continue learning remotely, allowing the Chief Health Officer to monitor and evaluate the effects the return to school by other year levels has on the increased movement of people and transmission of coronavirus within the community. As students return to on-site learning, schools are implementing staggered drop-off and pick-ups to reduce the number of adults around school grounds at any one time, as well as staggered break times to manage the number of students mixing across year levels. All schools will implement physical distancing measures for their staff, and school staff have been prioritised for voluntary coronavirus testing in the lead-up to today’s return to on-site schooling. The Victorian Government is also investing up to $45 million for increased daily cleaning at every government school for the rest of Term 2 and 3. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Remote learning hasn’t been easy, but I couldn’t be prouder of how our principals, teachers, support staff, students and families have responded to the challenge.” “The advice from the Chief Health Officer is for students to begin a phased return to face-to-face learning – and that’s what’s happening today. Having close to a million students learning from home has made a huge contribution to limiting the number of people moving around the community and reducing the spread of the virus.” “This is a real opportunity to improve our education system and learn lessons from this remote learning experience. This summit will be a way for all of our school sectors to come together and report back about the benefits they experienced.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

New Technology And Better Facilities For Victorian Kinders

The Victorian Government is helping kinders across the state upgrade their facilities and purchase the latest technology ahead of the roll-out of funded universal Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened applications under the $27.7 million Building Blocks program, with grants available to upgrade or improve early learning facilities and grants for new IT devices. The program is part of a $1.18 billion packaged for education infrastructure projects announced last Monday, which will build projects across Victoria, create the jobs and kickstart Victoria’s economy. Local councils and not-for-profit organisations delivering funded kindergarten programs are encouraged to apply for a grant as part of the program. Grants of up to $300,000 are available for early learning facility upgrades, providing services with funding to help them renovate and refurbish their centres. Organisations can apply for up to $50,000 for a minor improvement project for smaller scale works that will improve the quality of kindergarten services for their children and families. Grants of up to $1,500 are also available for devices such as laptops, tablets and televisions to support the delivery of kinder programs. Launched in March, Building Blocks streamlines all pre-exisiting kindergarten infrastructure grants into one overarching program and provides increased state funding contributions for early childhood projects. This new funding will help early childhood providers undertake projects to improve their services, and assist them in increasing the capacity of services to help deliver extra places as we roll out our Three-Year-Old Kinder reforms. This builds on the $156.6 million over five years made available in the Victorian Budget 19/20 to support the early childhood sector deliver the Victorian Government’s Three-Year-Old Kinder reform. Visit schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/buildingblocks to apply. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services so our children can get the most out of great local kindergartens as we roll-out universal funded Three-Year-Old Kinder.” “I encourage local councils and early childhood services across Victoria to take advantage of these grants to help improve our kindergartens and set them up for the future.” Download the Media Release (217 KB)

New Technology And Better Facilities For Victorian Kinders

The Victorian Government is helping kinders across the state upgrade their facilities and purchase the latest technology ahead of the roll-out of funded universal Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Minister for Education James Merlino today opened applications under the $27.7 million Building Blocks program, with grants available to upgrade or improve early learning facilities and grants for new IT devices. The program is part of a $1.18 billion packaged for education infrastructure projects announced last Monday, which will build projects across Victoria, create the jobs and kickstart Victoria’s economy. Local councils and not-for-profit organisations delivering funded kindergarten programs are encouraged to apply for a grant as part of the program. Grants of up to $300,000 are available for early learning facility upgrades, providing services with funding to help them renovate and refurbish their centres. Organisations can apply for up to $50,000 for a minor improvement project for smaller scale works that will improve the quality of kindergarten services for their children and families. Grants of up to $1,500 are also available for devices such as laptops, tablets and televisions to support the delivery of kinder programs. Launched in March, Building Blocks streamlines all pre-exisiting kindergarten infrastructure grants into one overarching program and provides increased state funding contributions for early childhood projects. This new funding will help early childhood providers undertake projects to improve their services, and assist them in increasing the capacity of services to help deliver extra places as we roll out our Three-Year-Old Kinder reforms. This builds on the $156.6 million over five years made available in the Victorian Budget 19/20 to support the early childhood sector deliver the Victorian Government’s Three-Year-Old Kinder reform. Visit schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/buildingblocks to apply. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood services so our children can get the most out of great local kindergartens as we roll-out universal funded Three-Year-Old Kinder.” “I encourage local councils and early childhood services across Victoria to take advantage of these grants to help improve our kindergartens and set them up for the future.” Download the Media Release (217 KB)

Certainty For Students With Exams To Start In November

Victorian Certificate of Education examinations will start in early November and results will be available by the end of the year, giving certainty to thousands of students whose studies have been interrupted by coronavirus. Minister for Education James Merlino announced today that VCE exams will begin in the week commencing 9 November – a month earlier than expected when learning from home was first announced. The bring-forward of exams is a result of the earlier than expected return of on-site learning, which will begin for Year 11 and 12 students – and Year 10 students doing VCE subjects – next Tuesday 26 May. This earlier return to school is based on the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. The November date will give sufficient time for teachers and students to complete adjusted VCE Unit 4 learning and school-based assessments and prepare for VCE examinations. Exams will be completed by 2 December, allowing ATAR scores to be calculated and VCE, VCAL students to get their results before the end of 2020. Importantly, the change means university offers can be made to Victorian students like their peers around Australia. The General Achievement Test will also be held towards the end of Term 3, on Wednesday, 9 September 2020. The Victorian Government has invested $14.9 billion to make Victoria the Education State — ensuring every student access to a great local school and the best learning opportunities – whatever their background, wherever they live. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The announcement gives students, teachers and parents certainty in what has been a very disrupted year.”  “The revised dates mean students will get their results and an ATAR in 2020, giving them a clear pathway to further study or employment next year – and a break to celebrate the end of school.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

Certainty For Students With Exams To Start In November

Victorian Certificate of Education examinations will start in early November and results will be available by the end of the year, giving certainty to thousands of students whose studies have been interrupted by coronavirus. Minister for Education James Merlino announced today that VCE exams will begin in the week commencing 9 November – a month earlier than expected when learning from home was first announced. The bring-forward of exams is a result of the earlier than expected return of on-site learning, which will begin for Year 11 and 12 students – and Year 10 students doing VCE subjects – next Tuesday 26 May. This earlier return to school is based on the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. The November date will give sufficient time for teachers and students to complete adjusted VCE Unit 4 learning and school-based assessments and prepare for VCE examinations. Exams will be completed by 2 December, allowing ATAR scores to be calculated and VCE, VCAL students to get their results before the end of 2020. Importantly, the change means university offers can be made to Victorian students like their peers around Australia. The General Achievement Test will also be held towards the end of Term 3, on Wednesday, 9 September 2020. The Victorian Government has invested $14.9 billion to make Victoria the Education State — ensuring every student access to a great local school and the best learning opportunities – whatever their background, wherever they live. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The announcement gives students, teachers and parents certainty in what has been a very disrupted year.”  “The revised dates mean students will get their results and an ATAR in 2020, giving them a clear pathway to further study or employment next year – and a break to celebrate the end of school.” Download the Media Release (212 KB)

Nominations Open For Prestigious School Design Awards

The state’s latest and best school building designs will be centre stage at the 2020 Victorian School Design Awards. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that nominations are open for the awards, which celebrates the architects and designers who are making a difference in the classroom with their unique and creative designs that deliver better learning spaces for students. The exciting designs are emerging from the state’s school construction boom. Since 2015, the Victorian Government has invested a record $7.2 billion to build new schools and modernise or expand more than 1,460 existing ones. That construction boom has continued throughout the coronavirus disruption, with the Government’s election commitment to deliver 100 new schools by 2026 on track. The awards are open to architects who designed a Victorian government school building completed between June 2018 and June 2020. Architects are invited to enter their designs for new buildings, stages of buildings, redevelopment or refurbishment of a space, schools designed for special needs, small rural campuses or individual facilities such as performing arts spaces, learning centres, libraries and technology wings. For more information, visit: education.vic.gov.au Online submissions can be made at vicschooldesign.awardsplatform.com Submissions close on 31 July 2020 and the awards will be presented at a special ceremony later this year. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “These awards recognise the important role architects are playing in making Victoria a world leader in school design.”  “We’re not just building more schools to cater for the state’s rapidly growing population – we’re creating modern schools that are better equipped for the 21stcentury to give Victorian students the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (209 KB)

Nominations Open For Prestigious School Design Awards

The state’s latest and best school building designs will be centre stage at the 2020 Victorian School Design Awards. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that nominations are open for the awards, which celebrates the architects and designers who are making a difference in the classroom with their unique and creative designs that deliver better learning spaces for students. The exciting designs are emerging from the state’s school construction boom. Since 2015, the Victorian Government has invested a record $7.2 billion to build new schools and modernise or expand more than 1,460 existing ones. That construction boom has continued throughout the coronavirus disruption, with the Government’s election commitment to deliver 100 new schools by 2026 on track. The awards are open to architects who designed a Victorian government school building completed between June 2018 and June 2020. Architects are invited to enter their designs for new buildings, stages of buildings, redevelopment or refurbishment of a space, schools designed for special needs, small rural campuses or individual facilities such as performing arts spaces, learning centres, libraries and technology wings. For more information, visit: education.vic.gov.au Online submissions can be made at vicschooldesign.awardsplatform.com Submissions close on 31 July 2020 and the awards will be presented at a special ceremony later this year. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “These awards recognise the important role architects are playing in making Victoria a world leader in school design.”  “We’re not just building more schools to cater for the state’s rapidly growing population – we’re creating modern schools that are better equipped for the 21stcentury to give Victorian students the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (209 KB)

$8.4M FOR MONBULK COLLEGE UPGRADE

The Andrews Labor Government will fix old buildings, deliver extra classrooms and build ten brand new schools in a state-wide construction blitz that will create thousands of jobs across the state and kickstart Victoria’s economy. Minister for Education and Member for Monbulk James Merlino today announced Monbulk College will share in $388.8 million for 57 upgrade and modernisation projects at schools across Victoria. This includes all school upgrades the Labor Government committed to at the 2018 election. In addition to the $935,000 received in the 2019-20 State Budget, the Labor Government is providing $8.42 million for the final major stage of their masterplan, which includes a new STEM and trades building and a new home economics building. This project is part of the Victorian Government's Building Works package, which will deliver $2.7 billion in shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work across our state. The package includes a $1.18 billion education building program will also build new schools, deliver and refurbish relocatable classrooms and make schools more accessible for students and staff with disabilities. Together, the projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. This $1.18 billion education building program is in addition to the $6.1 billion invested by the Victorian Government on delivering school upgrades since 2014, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The Victorian Government is building the Education State so everyone can get a great education, no matter their background or where they live. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “We know how critical education will be to our state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and that’s why we’re investing in the future of our students across early childhood, schools and TAFE.”  “We’re investing record funding in education so all people in Monbulk, regardless of their background or circumstances, get a world-class education.” “The project at Monbulk College is yet another great example of the school building boom that is happening right across Victoria.”

$8.4M FOR MONBULK COLLEGE UPGRADE

The Andrews Labor Government will fix old buildings, deliver extra classrooms and build ten brand new schools in a state-wide construction blitz that will create thousands of jobs across the state and kickstart Victoria’s economy. Minister for Education and Member for Monbulk James Merlino today announced Monbulk College will share in $388.8 million for 57 upgrade and modernisation projects at schools across Victoria. This includes all school upgrades the Labor Government committed to at the 2018 election. In addition to the $935,000 received in the 2019-20 State Budget, the Labor Government is providing $8.42 million for the final major stage of their masterplan, which includes a new STEM and trades building and a new home economics building. This project is part of the Victorian Government's Building Works package, which will deliver $2.7 billion in shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work across our state. The package includes a $1.18 billion education building program will also build new schools, deliver and refurbish relocatable classrooms and make schools more accessible for students and staff with disabilities. Together, the projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. This $1.18 billion education building program is in addition to the $6.1 billion invested by the Victorian Government on delivering school upgrades since 2014, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The Victorian Government is building the Education State so everyone can get a great education, no matter their background or where they live. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “We know how critical education will be to our state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and that’s why we’re investing in the future of our students across early childhood, schools and TAFE.”  “We’re investing record funding in education so all people in Monbulk, regardless of their background or circumstances, get a world-class education.” “The project at Monbulk College is yet another great example of the school building boom that is happening right across Victoria.”

Extra $2.4m For Exford Primary School Upgrade

The Victorian Government will fix old buildings and upgrade more schools in a state-wide construction blitz that will create thousands of jobs and help Victoria’s economy rebound from the coronavirus crisis. Member for Melton Steve McGhie today announced Exford Primary School will get a $2.4 million upgrade as part of a state-wide construction blitz that will create thousands of jobs and kickstart Victoria’s economy. In addition to the $6.2 million provided in the Victorian Budget 19/20, the Victorian Government is providing $2.4 million to upgrade Exford Primary School’s water and sewerage site services. The additional $2.4 million is part of $388.8 million being provided to deliver 57 upgrade and modernisation projects at schools across Victoria, including all school upgrade projects committed to by the Victorian Government at the 2018 election. The upgrade works at Exford Primary School also includes replacing old relocatable buildings with new permanent classrooms. This project is part of the Victorian Government’s Building Works package, which will deliver $2.7 billion in shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work across our state. The package includes a $1.18 billion education building program will also build new schools, deliver and refurbish relocatable classrooms and make schools more accessible for students and staff with disabilities. Together, the projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. This $1.18 billion education building program is in addition to the $6.1 billion invested by the Victorian Government on delivering school upgrades since 2014, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The Victorian Government is building the Education State so everyone can get a great education, no matter their background or where they live. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This investment will upgrade Exford Primary School, create local jobs and help our economy recover from coronavirus.” “The project at Exford Primary School is yet another great example of the school building boom that is happening right across Victoria.” Quote attributable to Member for Melton Steve McGhie “The upgrades at Exford Primary School will ensure that local students have access to a quality schools and modern facilities meaning they will get the most out of their education.” Download the Media Release (224 KB)

Extra $2.4m For Exford Primary School Upgrade

The Victorian Government will fix old buildings and upgrade more schools in a state-wide construction blitz that will create thousands of jobs and help Victoria’s economy rebound from the coronavirus crisis. Member for Melton Steve McGhie today announced Exford Primary School will get a $2.4 million upgrade as part of a state-wide construction blitz that will create thousands of jobs and kickstart Victoria’s economy. In addition to the $6.2 million provided in the Victorian Budget 19/20, the Victorian Government is providing $2.4 million to upgrade Exford Primary School’s water and sewerage site services. The additional $2.4 million is part of $388.8 million being provided to deliver 57 upgrade and modernisation projects at schools across Victoria, including all school upgrade projects committed to by the Victorian Government at the 2018 election. The upgrade works at Exford Primary School also includes replacing old relocatable buildings with new permanent classrooms. This project is part of the Victorian Government’s Building Works package, which will deliver $2.7 billion in shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work across our state. The package includes a $1.18 billion education building program will also build new schools, deliver and refurbish relocatable classrooms and make schools more accessible for students and staff with disabilities. Together, the projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. This $1.18 billion education building program is in addition to the $6.1 billion invested by the Victorian Government on delivering school upgrades since 2014, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The Victorian Government is building the Education State so everyone can get a great education, no matter their background or where they live. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This investment will upgrade Exford Primary School, create local jobs and help our economy recover from coronavirus.” “The project at Exford Primary School is yet another great example of the school building boom that is happening right across Victoria.” Quote attributable to Member for Melton Steve McGhie “The upgrades at Exford Primary School will ensure that local students have access to a quality schools and modern facilities meaning they will get the most out of their education.” Download the Media Release (224 KB)

Clifton Creek Primary School To Be Rebuilt

The Victorian Government is delivering funding to ensure Clifton Creek Primary School is rebuilt after the community suffered the devastating loss of their school in the summer’s bushfires. Minister for Educaton James Merlino today announced more than $4.2 million for Clifton Creek Primary School, honouring a committment to rebuild the school. The rebuild will include kitchen and sensory gardens, shade sails and additional space for community use. A further $29,000 was announced last month for Clifton Creek Primary School to build a bus shelter within the school property beside the car park entrance. Clifton Creek Primary School was temporarily relocated to nearby Nicholson Primary School following the bushfires to ensure classes could continue and students and staff had the facilities they need. Relocatable classrooms were installed and ground works, such as oval works and play equipment, were completed at the Clifton Creek Primary School site ahead Term 2 for the delivery of remote learning. These facilities will enable students and staff to attend their school while a permanent rebuild gets underway. A community consultation period ran throughout March, with feedback from the school community to be used in shaping the design of the rebuilt school. This project is part of the Victorian Government’s Building Works package, which will deliver $2.7 billion in shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work across our state. The package includes a $1.18 billion education building program will also build new schools, deliver and refurbish relocatable classrooms and make schools more accessible for students and staff with disabilities. Together, the projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. This $1.18 billion education building program is in addition to the $6.1 billion invested by the Victorian Government on delivering school upgrades since 2014, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The Victorian Government is building the Education State so everyone can get a great education, no matter their background or where they live. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We said we would rebuild Clifton Creek Primary School and this funding will ensure that happens.” “Schools are often at the heart of the community and used in a variety of ways – that is why rebuilding Clifton Creek Primary School is so important.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “The Clifton Creek community have shown enormous resilience and we’re doing everything we can to provide ongoing support for students and staff.” Download the Media Release (213 KB)

Clifton Creek Primary School To Be Rebuilt

The Victorian Government is delivering funding to ensure Clifton Creek Primary School is rebuilt after the community suffered the devastating loss of their school in the summer’s bushfires. Minister for Educaton James Merlino today announced more than $4.2 million for Clifton Creek Primary School, honouring a committment to rebuild the school. The rebuild will include kitchen and sensory gardens, shade sails and additional space for community use. A further $29,000 was announced last month for Clifton Creek Primary School to build a bus shelter within the school property beside the car park entrance. Clifton Creek Primary School was temporarily relocated to nearby Nicholson Primary School following the bushfires to ensure classes could continue and students and staff had the facilities they need. Relocatable classrooms were installed and ground works, such as oval works and play equipment, were completed at the Clifton Creek Primary School site ahead Term 2 for the delivery of remote learning. These facilities will enable students and staff to attend their school while a permanent rebuild gets underway. A community consultation period ran throughout March, with feedback from the school community to be used in shaping the design of the rebuilt school. This project is part of the Victorian Government’s Building Works package, which will deliver $2.7 billion in shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work across our state. The package includes a $1.18 billion education building program will also build new schools, deliver and refurbish relocatable classrooms and make schools more accessible for students and staff with disabilities. Together, the projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. This $1.18 billion education building program is in addition to the $6.1 billion invested by the Victorian Government on delivering school upgrades since 2014, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The Victorian Government is building the Education State so everyone can get a great education, no matter their background or where they live. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We said we would rebuild Clifton Creek Primary School and this funding will ensure that happens.” “Schools are often at the heart of the community and used in a variety of ways – that is why rebuilding Clifton Creek Primary School is so important.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “The Clifton Creek community have shown enormous resilience and we’re doing everything we can to provide ongoing support for students and staff.” Download the Media Release (213 KB)

$19 Million Investment In Morwell And Traralgon Schools

Morwell and Latrobe families will have access to the first-rate early learning and school facilities they deserve, thanks to the Victorian Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $5.35 million to deliver a world class integrated early learning centre at Morwell Park Primary School and $13.7 million to rebuild Latrobe Special Developmental School. The Morwell community will benefit from having on-site integrated early learning and community services that will feature the Our Place model, an approach developed by the Colman Foundation to promote positive education outcomes for children and families. The project will deliver a community centre, including integrated early learning centre facilities, at the school just in time for the roll out of three-year-old kindergarten. Morwell Central Primary School previously benefited from $7.75 million in Victorian Government funding for the Morwell Regeneration Project, which merged the Tobruk Street, Commercial Road and Morwell primary schools onto one site, the old Kurnai College site in McDonald Street. The school opened in the new site at the start of 2018. An additional $13.7 million will see Latrobe Special Developmental School rebuilt on the Traralgon College Junior Campus, to provide better links for students with the local community and mainstream education providers in Traralgon. This is in addition to the $6 million already invested to the project to get planning underway for Latrobe Special Development School and to upgrade Traralgon College. These projects are part of the Victorian Government’s Building Works package, which will deliver $2.7 billion in shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work across our state. The package includes a $1.18 billion education building program will also build new schools, deliver and refurbish relocatable classrooms and make schools more accessible for students and staff with disabilities. Together, the projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. This $1.18 billion education building program is in addition to the $6.1 billion invested by the Victorian Government on delivering school upgrades since 2014, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The Victorian Government is building the Education State so everyone can get a great education, no matter their background or where they live. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This investment will see Morwell Park Primary School upgraded and Latrobe Special Developmental School relocated and create local jobs and help our economy recover from coronavirus.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “This funding will create a light-filled, modern and fit-for-purpose new school for Latrobe Special Development School, and a brand new Early Learning Centre for Morwell Park Primary to deliver three-year old kinder and a range of community programs.”

$19 Million Investment In Morwell And Traralgon Schools

Morwell and Latrobe families will have access to the first-rate early learning and school facilities they deserve, thanks to the Victorian Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $5.35 million to deliver a world class integrated early learning centre at Morwell Park Primary School and $13.7 million to rebuild Latrobe Special Developmental School. The Morwell community will benefit from having on-site integrated early learning and community services that will feature the Our Place model, an approach developed by the Colman Foundation to promote positive education outcomes for children and families. The project will deliver a community centre, including integrated early learning centre facilities, at the school just in time for the roll out of three-year-old kindergarten. Morwell Central Primary School previously benefited from $7.75 million in Victorian Government funding for the Morwell Regeneration Project, which merged the Tobruk Street, Commercial Road and Morwell primary schools onto one site, the old Kurnai College site in McDonald Street. The school opened in the new site at the start of 2018. An additional $13.7 million will see Latrobe Special Developmental School rebuilt on the Traralgon College Junior Campus, to provide better links for students with the local community and mainstream education providers in Traralgon. This is in addition to the $6 million already invested to the project to get planning underway for Latrobe Special Development School and to upgrade Traralgon College. These projects are part of the Victorian Government’s Building Works package, which will deliver $2.7 billion in shovel-ready projects – big and small – to get thousands of people back to work across our state. The package includes a $1.18 billion education building program will also build new schools, deliver and refurbish relocatable classrooms and make schools more accessible for students and staff with disabilities. Together, the projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. This $1.18 billion education building program is in addition to the $6.1 billion invested by the Victorian Government on delivering school upgrades since 2014, supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The Victorian Government is building the Education State so everyone can get a great education, no matter their background or where they live. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This investment will see Morwell Park Primary School upgraded and Latrobe Special Developmental School relocated and create local jobs and help our economy recover from coronavirus.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing “This funding will create a light-filled, modern and fit-for-purpose new school for Latrobe Special Development School, and a brand new Early Learning Centre for Morwell Park Primary to deliver three-year old kinder and a range of community programs.”

 

Completing Shepparton‘s World-Class Secondary School

Students in Shepparton will be in their world-class secondary school at the beginning of 2022, with the Victorian Government announcing $119 million to finish construction of Greater Shepparton Secondary College. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the funding, which is part of a state-wide education building blitz that will create thousands of jobs and kickstart Victoria’s economy. The Greater Shepparton Secondary College project will create nearly 300 jobs at the peak of construction and will deliver the exceptional facilities students, teachers and staff deserve. The new College is being built on the site of the former Shepparton High School, and it will offer students broader subject choices, new learning and pathway opportunities, and better educational support in world-class facilities. The school will include an Enterprise and Innovation Centre giving senior students access to a broad range of subjects and career pathways in three specialist precincts – technology, performing and fine arts, and sciences. Builder Hansen Yuncken has had a base in Shepparton since 1925, and will use local contractors as part of the build, supporting local businesses and jobs. The designs, by architects Gray Puksand, support the school’s focus on having the facilities of a big school, while maintaining the feel of a smaller school environment. The architects worked closely with students, teachers and the wider community to gain their input for the design of the new school. Greater Shepparton Secondary College students are currently studying at the Wanganui, Mooroopna and McGuire campuses until the new school is complete at the start of 2022. The $119 million investment announced today builds on the $21.5 million invested in the Shepparton Education Plan. The Government is building the Education State so everyone can get a great education, no matter their background or where they live – invested $6.1 billion on school upgrades since 2014. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We want to improve education outcomes in Shepparton and I’m pleased to deliver the funding that will make this project a reality.” “This fulfils a promise that we made to the people of Shepperton and Mooroopna. I know that some in the community have been sceptical about this project becoming a reality, but we always said we would finish what we started and that is exactly what we are doing.”  “This is the most important education project in this region’s history, and the children and young people of Shepparton and Mooroopna deserve nothing less.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “This is a once in a generation project for the Shepparton community and this funding will see students in the best possible facilities by 2022.” Download the Media Release (239 KB)

Completing Shepparton‘s World-Class Secondary School

Students in Shepparton will be in their world-class secondary school at the beginning of 2022, with the Victorian Government announcing $119 million to finish construction of Greater Shepparton Secondary College. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the funding, which is part of a state-wide education building blitz that will create thousands of jobs and kickstart Victoria’s economy. The Greater Shepparton Secondary College project will create nearly 300 jobs at the peak of construction and will deliver the exceptional facilities students, teachers and staff deserve. The new College is being built on the site of the former Shepparton High School, and it will offer students broader subject choices, new learning and pathway opportunities, and better educational support in world-class facilities. The school will include an Enterprise and Innovation Centre giving senior students access to a broad range of subjects and career pathways in three specialist precincts – technology, performing and fine arts, and sciences. Builder Hansen Yuncken has had a base in Shepparton since 1925, and will use local contractors as part of the build, supporting local businesses and jobs. The designs, by architects Gray Puksand, support the school’s focus on having the facilities of a big school, while maintaining the feel of a smaller school environment. The architects worked closely with students, teachers and the wider community to gain their input for the design of the new school. Greater Shepparton Secondary College students are currently studying at the Wanganui, Mooroopna and McGuire campuses until the new school is complete at the start of 2022. The $119 million investment announced today builds on the $21.5 million invested in the Shepparton Education Plan. The Government is building the Education State so everyone can get a great education, no matter their background or where they live – invested $6.1 billion on school upgrades since 2014. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We want to improve education outcomes in Shepparton and I’m pleased to deliver the funding that will make this project a reality.” “This fulfils a promise that we made to the people of Shepperton and Mooroopna. I know that some in the community have been sceptical about this project becoming a reality, but we always said we would finish what we started and that is exactly what we are doing.”  “This is the most important education project in this region’s history, and the children and young people of Shepparton and Mooroopna deserve nothing less.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp “This is a once in a generation project for the Shepparton community and this funding will see students in the best possible facilities by 2022.” Download the Media Release (239 KB)

Building Works: Better Schools In Education Jobs Blitz

The Victorian Government will fix old buildings, deliver extra classrooms and build ten brand new schools in a state-wide construction blitz that will create thousands of jobs across the state and kickstart Victoria’s economy. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced more than $1.18 billion in education infrastructure projects – part of the $2.7 billion Building Works package that will build the projects that matter to Victoria and create the jobs that matter to Victorians. Together, the school building projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. The projects were selected because they could get underway as soon as possible – delivering local jobs supporting local businesses. The package includes $438.6 million to build ten new schools and deliver a further four stages of new school projects to open in 2022 across the state, providing new spaces for more than 7,000 Victorian students. This includes $119 million to build the Greater Shepparton Secondary College as part of the Shepparton Education Plan. Just over $130 million has been allocated to the Established Areas Program to provide additional capacity at nine metropolitan schools to meet enrolment growth, supporting space for 1,550 students. To further boost capacity in schools across the state, $114.5 million will purchase and refurbish relocatable school buildings – providing space for an extra 12,775 students in the 2021 school year. The Government will provide $388.8 million to deliver 57 upgrades and modernisation projects at schools across Victoria. Many of the projects deliver on key 2018 election commitments. This funding includes $4.2 million to rebuild Clifton Creek Primary School destroyed in the bushfires earlier this year. Schools across the state will also share in $10 million to support infrastructure modifications for the 2021 school year for schools that have students with disabilities, as part of the Accessible Buildings Program. $20 million will also be provided for a Minor Capital Works Fund to bring forward small priority projects identified by schools. In addition, Victorian TAFE students will soon benefit from having works carried out at their campus, with TAFEs to share in $55 million to help address maintenance needs. This investment also includes a further $27.7 million for the Building Blocks program, which provides grants for local governments and not-for-profit organisations delivering a funded kindergarten program to increase their capacity to meet the demand for places, upgrade and improve existing facilities, and to access the latest technology. This education building program of more than $1.18 billion is in addition to the $6.1 billion already invested by the Victorian Government on school upgrades since 2014 which has support more than 7,500 construction jobs. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “It just makes sense. By investing in our schools, we’re giving our kids the classrooms they deserve – and importantly, creating thousands of new jobs.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re investing more than a billion dollars in better schools and kinders as part of our record investment in education – so all Victorians, regardless of their background or circumstances, get a world-class education.” Quote attributable the Minister for Skills and Training Gayle Tierney “It is more important than ever that we invest in our TAFEs so that Victorians can continue to get the best training in state-of-the-art facilities for the jobs that they need.” Download the Media Release (223 KB)

Building Works: Better Schools In Education Jobs Blitz

The Victorian Government will fix old buildings, deliver extra classrooms and build ten brand new schools in a state-wide construction blitz that will create thousands of jobs across the state and kickstart Victoria’s economy. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced more than $1.18 billion in education infrastructure projects – part of the $2.7 billion Building Works package that will build the projects that matter to Victoria and create the jobs that matter to Victorians. Together, the school building projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. The projects were selected because they could get underway as soon as possible – delivering local jobs supporting local businesses. The package includes $438.6 million to build ten new schools and deliver a further four stages of new school projects to open in 2022 across the state, providing new spaces for more than 7,000 Victorian students. This includes $119 million to build the Greater Shepparton Secondary College as part of the Shepparton Education Plan. Just over $130 million has been allocated to the Established Areas Program to provide additional capacity at nine metropolitan schools to meet enrolment growth, supporting space for 1,550 students. To further boost capacity in schools across the state, $114.5 million will purchase and refurbish relocatable school buildings – providing space for an extra 12,775 students in the 2021 school year. The Government will provide $388.8 million to deliver 57 upgrades and modernisation projects at schools across Victoria. Many of the projects deliver on key 2018 election commitments. This funding includes $4.2 million to rebuild Clifton Creek Primary School destroyed in the bushfires earlier this year. Schools across the state will also share in $10 million to support infrastructure modifications for the 2021 school year for schools that have students with disabilities, as part of the Accessible Buildings Program. $20 million will also be provided for a Minor Capital Works Fund to bring forward small priority projects identified by schools. In addition, Victorian TAFE students will soon benefit from having works carried out at their campus, with TAFEs to share in $55 million to help address maintenance needs. This investment also includes a further $27.7 million for the Building Blocks program, which provides grants for local governments and not-for-profit organisations delivering a funded kindergarten program to increase their capacity to meet the demand for places, upgrade and improve existing facilities, and to access the latest technology. This education building program of more than $1.18 billion is in addition to the $6.1 billion already invested by the Victorian Government on school upgrades since 2014 which has support more than 7,500 construction jobs. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “It just makes sense. By investing in our schools, we’re giving our kids the classrooms they deserve – and importantly, creating thousands of new jobs.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re investing more than a billion dollars in better schools and kinders as part of our record investment in education – so all Victorians, regardless of their background or circumstances, get a world-class education.” Quote attributable the Minister for Skills and Training Gayle Tierney “It is more important than ever that we invest in our TAFEs so that Victorians can continue to get the best training in state-of-the-art facilities for the jobs that they need.” Download the Media Release (223 KB)

Free Cleaning Grants For Kinders

The Victorian Government is supporting kindergarten services during the coronavirus pandemic with new funding grants available to help with cleaning and hygiene costs in Term 2. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $2.6 million in grants would be made available for all early childhood services delivering a funded kindergarten program to boost their cleaning and hygiene during this pandemic. The Victorian Government will provide $900 grants for kindergarten services with less than 50 enrolments and $1,500 for those with 50 or more enrolments. These grants will help with the costs of high standards of cleaning and hygiene, consistent with the Australian Health Principal Practitioners Committee guidance. Service providers will have flexibility in how to use this funding as long as it is spent on meeting cleaning and hygiene requirements for their kindergarten program. This includes paying for additional hours of cleaning and buying hygiene products, such as hand sanitiser and soap. Early childhood education and care services continuing to operate, in line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Australian Health Protection Principal Committee including – enhanced personal hygiene for children, staff and parents, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surface at least daily and regularly washing toys and equipment The grants are available as part of the up to $45 million in extra funding to support kindergartens during the coronavirus pandemic. Further guidance on measures to maintain the health and safety of children and staff can be found on the DHHS website. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Cleaning grants are another step in supporting kinders during this time – after guaranteeing 100 per cent of their funding and providing additional funding to make sessional kinder free.” “Early childhood staff are doing an outstanding job with their children and families, and these grants help kinder services ensure high standards of cleaning and hygiene.” Download the Media Release (207 KB)

Free Cleaning Grants For Kinders

The Victorian Government is supporting kindergarten services during the coronavirus pandemic with new funding grants available to help with cleaning and hygiene costs in Term 2. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $2.6 million in grants would be made available for all early childhood services delivering a funded kindergarten program to boost their cleaning and hygiene during this pandemic. The Victorian Government will provide $900 grants for kindergarten services with less than 50 enrolments and $1,500 for those with 50 or more enrolments. These grants will help with the costs of high standards of cleaning and hygiene, consistent with the Australian Health Principal Practitioners Committee guidance. Service providers will have flexibility in how to use this funding as long as it is spent on meeting cleaning and hygiene requirements for their kindergarten program. This includes paying for additional hours of cleaning and buying hygiene products, such as hand sanitiser and soap. Early childhood education and care services continuing to operate, in line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Australian Health Protection Principal Committee including – enhanced personal hygiene for children, staff and parents, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surface at least daily and regularly washing toys and equipment The grants are available as part of the up to $45 million in extra funding to support kindergartens during the coronavirus pandemic. Further guidance on measures to maintain the health and safety of children and staff can be found on the DHHS website. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Cleaning grants are another step in supporting kinders during this time – after guaranteeing 100 per cent of their funding and providing additional funding to make sessional kinder free.” “Early childhood staff are doing an outstanding job with their children and families, and these grants help kinder services ensure high standards of cleaning and hygiene.” Download the Media Release (207 KB)

New Sporting Facilities For Frankston North Students

Frankston North students are a step closer to having the first-rate elite sporting facilities, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the next stage of works were underway at Monterey Secondary College, with the slab to be poured for the school’s new competition-grade gymnasium, which is being built as part of the Frankston North Education Plan. When completed, the gym will form the centrepiece of the school’s new Sports and Health Sciences centre, along with two outdoor hardcourts. The Frankston North Education Plan has also established a new partnership with St Kilda Football Club and Frankston District Netball Association, to give students access to elite-level sporting programs and coaches, with facilities to match. This sports partnership will be led by Monterey Secondary College and Assistant Principal Tom Cain. The sport facilities are part of a $26.2 million investment by the Labor Government in the plan, which aims to lift the achievements of local students as well as improving education, health and wellbeing programs for the whole community. Works are underway on projects at Monterey Secondary College, Mahogany Rise Primary School and Aldercourt Primary School. This includes innovative and modern classrooms, and integrated family, health and wellbeing services at both Mahogany Rise Primary School and Aldercourt Primary School. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and education. The Labor Government 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. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is a project for the entire community and will ensure that every student has access to the facilities they deserve.” Quote attributable to Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke “The Frankston North Education Plan is about making sure local students have access to the best facilities and can reach their full potential.” Quote attributable to Monterey Secondary College assistant principal Tom Cain “It’s really exciting to be working towards a vision of the school as a high-performing community hub that engages and supports a wide range of young people in their journey to success in learning and life.” Download the Media Release (213 KB)

New Sporting Facilities For Frankston North Students

Frankston North students are a step closer to having the first-rate elite sporting facilities, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the next stage of works were underway at Monterey Secondary College, with the slab to be poured for the school’s new competition-grade gymnasium, which is being built as part of the Frankston North Education Plan. When completed, the gym will form the centrepiece of the school’s new Sports and Health Sciences centre, along with two outdoor hardcourts. The Frankston North Education Plan has also established a new partnership with St Kilda Football Club and Frankston District Netball Association, to give students access to elite-level sporting programs and coaches, with facilities to match. This sports partnership will be led by Monterey Secondary College and Assistant Principal Tom Cain. The sport facilities are part of a $26.2 million investment by the Labor Government in the plan, which aims to lift the achievements of local students as well as improving education, health and wellbeing programs for the whole community. Works are underway on projects at Monterey Secondary College, Mahogany Rise Primary School and Aldercourt Primary School. This includes innovative and modern classrooms, and integrated family, health and wellbeing services at both Mahogany Rise Primary School and Aldercourt Primary School. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and education. The Labor Government 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. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is a project for the entire community and will ensure that every student has access to the facilities they deserve.” Quote attributable to Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke “The Frankston North Education Plan is about making sure local students have access to the best facilities and can reach their full potential.” Quote attributable to Monterey Secondary College assistant principal Tom Cain “It’s really exciting to be working towards a vision of the school as a high-performing community hub that engages and supports a wide range of young people in their journey to success in learning and life.” Download the Media Release (213 KB)

Getting Our Kids Back Into The Classroom

Victorian government school students will begin a phased return to classrooms before the end of May, following advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer that it is safe for the community to do so. Since the beginning of Term 2, most children in Victoria have been learning remotely, limiting the number of people moving around our state every day to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The Government thanks parents, teachers and staff for their incredible efforts in helping deliver remote and flexible schooling this term and, in doing so, playing a vital role in flattening the curve of this pandemic. These efforts, and the biggest testing blitz in the country, mean Victoria is now in the position to begin moving back to face-to-face learning in the classroom. From Tuesday 26 May, all Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students, specialist school students, as well as VCE and VCAL students will return to on-site learning at government schools.  The next fortnight, and a pupil free day at all schools on 25 May, will give staff, schools and families time to prepare for the change. Vulnerable students in years 3 to 10, and children in those years whose parents or carers cannot work from home, can continue to attend school on-site as needed during this period. Students in the broader year 3 to 10 cohort will continue to learn remotely until Tuesday 9 June, to give the Government and the Chief Health Officer time to monitor and evaluate the effects that the return to school by other year levels has on the increased movement of people and transmission within the community. The Government will invest up to $45 million for enhanced cleaning that will occur every day at every school across the state for all of Term 2 and Term 3. This will help to reduce the spread of viruses and germs in schools and will include the cleaning of frequently used high-touch surfaces. All Victorian school staff will be prioritised for voluntary coronavirus testing for a two-week period from both mobile and fixed testing sites, starting today. This will enable school staff to seek testing during the preparation period before the return to on-site schooling. Schools will be encouraged to implement a staggered drop-off system to reduce the number of adults congregating outside the school at any one time, as well as staggered break times to manage the number of students mixing across year levels. Schools will also implement social distancing measures for all adults. The strict health protocols that are already in place will be followed if a member of the school community tests positive for coronavirus. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “As a father of three kids who have been learning from home, I know this has been a really challenging time for many families but thanks to everyone’s efforts in sticking to the rules and getting tested, we’re now able to start getting our kids back into the classroom.” “Having most of our kids learning from home has made a big contribution to limiting the number of people moving around the community and reduced the spread of the virus.” Quote attributable to the Minister for Education James Merlino “We know remote learning has been challenging, but our principals, teachers, support staff, students and families have done an outstanding job making it work.” Download the Media Release (197 KB)

Getting Our Kids Back Into The Classroom

Victorian government school students will begin a phased return to classrooms before the end of May, following advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer that it is safe for the community to do so. Since the beginning of Term 2, most children in Victoria have been learning remotely, limiting the number of people moving around our state every day to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The Government thanks parents, teachers and staff for their incredible efforts in helping deliver remote and flexible schooling this term and, in doing so, playing a vital role in flattening the curve of this pandemic. These efforts, and the biggest testing blitz in the country, mean Victoria is now in the position to begin moving back to face-to-face learning in the classroom. From Tuesday 26 May, all Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students, specialist school students, as well as VCE and VCAL students will return to on-site learning at government schools.  The next fortnight, and a pupil free day at all schools on 25 May, will give staff, schools and families time to prepare for the change. Vulnerable students in years 3 to 10, and children in those years whose parents or carers cannot work from home, can continue to attend school on-site as needed during this period. Students in the broader year 3 to 10 cohort will continue to learn remotely until Tuesday 9 June, to give the Government and the Chief Health Officer time to monitor and evaluate the effects that the return to school by other year levels has on the increased movement of people and transmission within the community. The Government will invest up to $45 million for enhanced cleaning that will occur every day at every school across the state for all of Term 2 and Term 3. This will help to reduce the spread of viruses and germs in schools and will include the cleaning of frequently used high-touch surfaces. All Victorian school staff will be prioritised for voluntary coronavirus testing for a two-week period from both mobile and fixed testing sites, starting today. This will enable school staff to seek testing during the preparation period before the return to on-site schooling. Schools will be encouraged to implement a staggered drop-off system to reduce the number of adults congregating outside the school at any one time, as well as staggered break times to manage the number of students mixing across year levels. Schools will also implement social distancing measures for all adults. The strict health protocols that are already in place will be followed if a member of the school community tests positive for coronavirus. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “As a father of three kids who have been learning from home, I know this has been a really challenging time for many families but thanks to everyone’s efforts in sticking to the rules and getting tested, we’re now able to start getting our kids back into the classroom.” “Having most of our kids learning from home has made a big contribution to limiting the number of people moving around the community and reduced the spread of the virus.” Quote attributable to the Minister for Education James Merlino “We know remote learning has been challenging, but our principals, teachers, support staff, students and families have done an outstanding job making it work.” Download the Media Release (197 KB)

Helping Kinder Kids To Learn From Home

The Victorian Government is making extra resources available to kindergartens to help children learning at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Deputy Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $900,000 in grants for new programs and extra staffing at kinders not yet receiving funding through the $160 million School Readiness Funding initiative. The package will enable kinders to access to the Goodstart@home online platform – which contains high-quality play-based learning activities for parents to do with their children at home – as well as free professional learning webinars for early childhood staff to help deliver programs remotely. Kindergarten services can also use the funding for additional educator and teacher hours to develop and deliver learning from home programs – given teachers and educators who are delivering a program on-site have limited capacity to work with families and children who are not attending. The funding is designed to allow Kindergarten services to select a package of resources that best reflects what their families need to help with learning from home. The Australian-first School Readiness Funding initiative has been rolled out to 32 local government areas already, and provides funding to improve children’s language development, social and emotional resilience and support access and inclusion. These resources are in addition to what is already been available on the Government’s tailored early childhood Learning from Home website, which was launched in March in light of lower-than-usual attendance rates, to help teachers and educators support children to learn remotely. Early childhood education and care services in Victoria are continuing to operate, in line with advice from  Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. The Victorian Government is also providing up to $45 million in extra funding to support sessional kindergarten providers in Term 2. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Early childhood staff are doing a wonderful job supporting children and their families through the coronavirus pandemic.” “We’re giving kinder services extra resources to assist with their excellent work to support the early childhood education of children who are not attending kinder at this time.” Download the Media Release (210 KB)

Helping Kinder Kids To Learn From Home

The Victorian Government is making extra resources available to kindergartens to help children learning at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Deputy Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $900,000 in grants for new programs and extra staffing at kinders not yet receiving funding through the $160 million School Readiness Funding initiative. The package will enable kinders to access to the Goodstart@home online platform – which contains high-quality play-based learning activities for parents to do with their children at home – as well as free professional learning webinars for early childhood staff to help deliver programs remotely. Kindergarten services can also use the funding for additional educator and teacher hours to develop and deliver learning from home programs – given teachers and educators who are delivering a program on-site have limited capacity to work with families and children who are not attending. The funding is designed to allow Kindergarten services to select a package of resources that best reflects what their families need to help with learning from home. The Australian-first School Readiness Funding initiative has been rolled out to 32 local government areas already, and provides funding to improve children’s language development, social and emotional resilience and support access and inclusion. These resources are in addition to what is already been available on the Government’s tailored early childhood Learning from Home website, which was launched in March in light of lower-than-usual attendance rates, to help teachers and educators support children to learn remotely. Early childhood education and care services in Victoria are continuing to operate, in line with advice from  Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. The Victorian Government is also providing up to $45 million in extra funding to support sessional kindergarten providers in Term 2. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Early childhood staff are doing a wonderful job supporting children and their families through the coronavirus pandemic.” “We’re giving kinder services extra resources to assist with their excellent work to support the early childhood education of children who are not attending kinder at this time.” Download the Media Release (210 KB)

Designs Unveiled For Alphington And Fairfield Schools

Alphington and Fairfield students are a step closer to getting upgraded sporting and learning facilities thanks to the Victorian Government. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous today unveiled designs for upgrades at Alphington and Fairfield Primary Schools, which will see each school increase their capacity by 200 students ensuring local students can attend their local school. The Victorian Government is investing $14.1 million investment at Alphington Primary School to deliver a competition-grade gymnasium and music room and a three-level learning building. As well as the new buildings, there will major renovations to current school buildings including the library, art room and classrooms in the heritage building. The project and its design has continued to be shaped by community feedback and follows a community consultation process from last year. Construction is expected to start in Term 4, 2020, to be completed and ready for Term 1, 2022. The Victorian Government is also investing $7 million for a new building at the Wingrove Street site of Fairfield Primary School, to allow for an extra 200 students.  Landscaped play areas will also be built at the Langridge Street campus, replacing demolished old classrooms and giving students access to more outdoor space. Builders are on-site at Fairfield Primary School, with these projects expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. Fairfield students are already benefiting from a completed $2.5 million upgrade, which included a new two-storey modular building with six learning spaces and student common area. Under the school building boom, a total of 100 new schools will open by 2026, ensuring every child can access a great local school where they can achieve their best. The Victorian Government has invested $6.1 billion to deliver more than 1,400 school upgrades and supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The designs are available online at www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Across Victoria we are working with communities to deliver school upgrades that they have a say in – it’s great to be doing that for both Alphington and Fairfield.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous “More and more people are wanting to call 3078 their home. And with $21 million in school upgrades at Fairfield and Alphington Primary – it’s easy to see why. “The new classrooms and facilities are the equivalent of a brand new school for our local area and will give our students even more opportunities to learn and thrive.” Download the Media Release (221 KB)

Designs Unveiled For Alphington And Fairfield Schools

Alphington and Fairfield students are a step closer to getting upgraded sporting and learning facilities thanks to the Victorian Government. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous today unveiled designs for upgrades at Alphington and Fairfield Primary Schools, which will see each school increase their capacity by 200 students ensuring local students can attend their local school. The Victorian Government is investing $14.1 million investment at Alphington Primary School to deliver a competition-grade gymnasium and music room and a three-level learning building. As well as the new buildings, there will major renovations to current school buildings including the library, art room and classrooms in the heritage building. The project and its design has continued to be shaped by community feedback and follows a community consultation process from last year. Construction is expected to start in Term 4, 2020, to be completed and ready for Term 1, 2022. The Victorian Government is also investing $7 million for a new building at the Wingrove Street site of Fairfield Primary School, to allow for an extra 200 students.  Landscaped play areas will also be built at the Langridge Street campus, replacing demolished old classrooms and giving students access to more outdoor space. Builders are on-site at Fairfield Primary School, with these projects expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. Fairfield students are already benefiting from a completed $2.5 million upgrade, which included a new two-storey modular building with six learning spaces and student common area. Under the school building boom, a total of 100 new schools will open by 2026, ensuring every child can access a great local school where they can achieve their best. The Victorian Government has invested $6.1 billion to deliver more than 1,400 school upgrades and supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The designs are available online at www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Across Victoria we are working with communities to deliver school upgrades that they have a say in – it’s great to be doing that for both Alphington and Fairfield.” Quotes attributable to Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous “More and more people are wanting to call 3078 their home. And with $21 million in school upgrades at Fairfield and Alphington Primary – it’s easy to see why. “The new classrooms and facilities are the equivalent of a brand new school for our local area and will give our students even more opportunities to learn and thrive.” Download the Media Release (221 KB)

Top Students Honoured In Premier’s VCE Awards

Victoria’s best performing VCE students have been recognised with Premier’s VCE Awards, which were announced online today. Minister for Education James Merlino congratulated the high-achieving students, celebrating their outstanding efforts. Winners included an award-winning young filmmaker, a singer who has already enjoyed international success, and an aspiring scientist who has competed in a chemistry olympiad. A total of 307 awards were announced, including 276 Study Awards, 28 Top All-Round VCE High Achiever Awards and three Top International Student Awards. The Top All-Round VCE High Achiever awards recognise those students who achieved study scores of 46 or higher out of 50 in at least five VCE subjects, while Study Awards recognise the best performers in individual VCE subjects. The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its promise to build the Education State so every student in the state can get a great education. Under the Labor Government’s school building boom, a total of 100 new schools will open by 2026, ensuring every child can access a great local school where they can achieve their best. The Labor Government has invested $6.1 billion to deliver more than 1,400 school upgrades and supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. A full list of the Premier’s VCE Awards recipients is available at: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/awards/Pages/vceawardswinners.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Congratulations to our top-performing VCE students who have worked hard to excel, and a massive thank you to their families, friends and school communities for the support given throughout their schooling.” “We’re delivering the Education State to support all students, so that every Victorian has the opportunity to achieve their best and every community has access to a great local school with exceptional teachers.” Download the Media Release (213 KB)

Top Students Honoured In Premier’s VCE Awards

Victoria’s best performing VCE students have been recognised with Premier’s VCE Awards, which were announced online today. Minister for Education James Merlino congratulated the high-achieving students, celebrating their outstanding efforts. Winners included an award-winning young filmmaker, a singer who has already enjoyed international success, and an aspiring scientist who has competed in a chemistry olympiad. A total of 307 awards were announced, including 276 Study Awards, 28 Top All-Round VCE High Achiever Awards and three Top International Student Awards. The Top All-Round VCE High Achiever awards recognise those students who achieved study scores of 46 or higher out of 50 in at least five VCE subjects, while Study Awards recognise the best performers in individual VCE subjects. The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its promise to build the Education State so every student in the state can get a great education. Under the Labor Government’s school building boom, a total of 100 new schools will open by 2026, ensuring every child can access a great local school where they can achieve their best. The Labor Government has invested $6.1 billion to deliver more than 1,400 school upgrades and supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. A full list of the Premier’s VCE Awards recipients is available at: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/awards/Pages/vceawardswinners.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Congratulations to our top-performing VCE students who have worked hard to excel, and a massive thank you to their families, friends and school communities for the support given throughout their schooling.” “We’re delivering the Education State to support all students, so that every Victorian has the opportunity to achieve their best and every community has access to a great local school with exceptional teachers.” Download the Media Release (213 KB)