Baillieu’s Cuts To Impact Monbulk College Students

The Baillieu Government’s decision to cut coordination funding for the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program will limit the options of young people in Monbulk, Shadow Education Minister Rob Hulls said.

Visiting Monbulk College with the Member for Monbulk James Merlino, Mr Hulls said Mr Baillieu’s decision to cut $12 million a year from the successful VCAL program would have a direct impact on students.

“Mr Baillieu and his Education Minister Martin Dixon have said these massive cuts won’t make any difference, but the fact is Monbulk College will struggle to find the funds to continue the VCAL program,” Mr Hulls said.

“Without this funding, other areas of the school budget may need to be trimmed such as reducing the number of teachers, cutting down on subjects, or cutting support programs in areas such as literacy.”

Mr Hulls said VCAL Coordinators were essential in developing curriculum and assessment materials, developing partnerships with local employment networks as well as coordinating student administration.

“VCAL provides students with an alternative to VCE, and a pathway to a career,” he said.

“Not every student goes to university, and VCAL prepares students for the next step in their lives, whether that’s in further education, training or employment.

“But this program is now in jeopardy because Mr Baillieu is willing to sacrifice the education of hundreds of children as part of his $481 million budget cuts to the sector.

“Mr Baillieu’s search for ‘savings’ is decimating frontline education services and programs.

“First he stripped 100,000 families of the School Start Bonus – then he halved the school capital works budget this year and now he’s cut $48 million from VCAL programs.

Mr Merlino said a number of schools in his electorate were reeling from this latest cut and urged Mr Baillieu to reverse his decision.

“Monbulk College runs one of the most highly regarded VCAL programs in the state and has won a number of excellence awards, with student Jessica Brown recently receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award for Foundation VCAL from the Education Minister.

“It is the height of hypocrisy for Mr Dixon to present students like Jessica with a VCAL excellence award and then turn around and slash funding for VCAL,” said Mr Merlino.

“Mr Baillieu needs to visit Monbulk College to see first hand why young people in this region need alternative education and training to ensure they have the opportunity to enter a traineeship, apprenticeship or attend university.”

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