Minister for Education
I am passionate about education and that is why I am honoured to be the Minister for Education in Victoria.
Aside from the impact of our immediate families, education is the aspect of our lives that has the greatest impact on our future, as individuals and as a society. Through education people can transform their lives, break out of poverty and achieve their dreams.
Governments must have an unwavering focus on education, skills, research and innovation to deliver sustained economic growth, jobs and high standards of living. Education should be the number 1 priority of every government.
One of my great privileges as Deputy Premier in the Andrews Labor Government is that I was able to choose my portfolio responsibilities. While other cabinet ministers were allocated their portfolios, tradition means that I was able to choose the portfolio I’m most committed to – education.
And as a proud dad with two children in Victoria’s public school system and a third yet to start school, I hope my direct experience of our wonderful system can positively shape how I deliver on my responsibilities as Minister.
Unfortunately for Victoria, under the former Liberal Government education went backwards at an alarming rate. Over a billion dollars was slashed from the education budget over four years and our schooling system was abandoned. Victorian students deserve better. They deserve a government that will help them get through the most important years of their life so they can enter the workforce with confidence.
Since winning the 2014 state election, the Andrews Labor Government has not wasted any time in making Victoria’s education system the best in the country and making our state ‘The Education State’.
Parents, students and teachers across our system understand that our system is only as good as what happens in each and every classroom and so improving the delivery of the curriculum and the effectiveness of teaching and learning in our schools must be our unwavering focus – from early learning settings, through to schools and beyond.
I intend to work in genuine partnership with Victoria’s school communities to help them create success for every student both in and beyond the classroom –success in employment, success in active citizenship, success in family life, and success as lifelong learners.
We are taking the first step to reverse the former government’s gross neglect through our election commitment to invest $530 million for nearly 100 schools. We will be building new schools and upgrading those that were left to fall into disrepair by the previous government.
We also have a commitment to invest $50 million to build new and refurbish existing kindergartens, and $320 million to support TAFEs. $125 million has been committed to establish ten Tech Schools across the state – they will focus on strong partnerships with local industries and be open for students in Years 7 to 12.
We are committed to standing up for the educational needs of our children, That’s what being ‘The Education State’ is all about – being rightfully proud of the difference education can make to the lives of all Victorians. The Andrews Labor government will restore that pride for our state.