Education State: Big Boost For Kids In Regional Victoria

Schools and students in our regions will share in more than $68 million of extra funding in 2016 as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to make Victoria the Education State.

It’s part of our plan to help kids learn, give parents confidence and provide the resources that teachers need. Every single student in every single government school will be better off.

Kids and families in our regions will be the big winners of this investment, with our schools in regional Victoria receiving a doubling of their funding per student.

The additional funding to our regional schools is on top of funds already provided for enrolment growth, indexation and the everyday costs of running a school.

The 2015/16 Victorian Budget was the single biggest injection of education funding in Victorian history, providing almost $4 billion in additional funds. We are building and upgrading schools and helping families with the costs of uniforms, glasses, camps, excursions and more.

Our Budget built the foundations of the Education State, but the next step is all about helping our kids learn, giving parents confidence, and providing teachers with the resources and skills they need to do what they do best.

We need to focus on strong school leadership, better teaching, more collaboration between teachers and schools, and resources targeted at student need – with all of it backed up by expert advice and robust evidence.

Over the last few months, thousands of Victorians told us that our schools are ‘good’. The system isn’t broken, but more work needs to be done. We must take our schools from good to great, and we must support the kids who need extra help.

That’s why, from the start of the 2016 school year, we are investing:

  • An extra $566 million over four years and $171 million ongoing in programs targeted at kids who need extra help at school – giving them the individual, tailored attention they need
  • $21.6 million to help government school teachers teach the new Victorian Curriculum – including mandatory new subjects like digital coding and respectful relationships
  • $82.2 million over four years and $24.8 million ongoing for approximately 150 locally-based staff to provide operational support and advice to principals, so they can focus on students
  • $27 million over five years to train 200 Primary Maths and Science Specialists working in 100 of our most disadvantaged schools
  • $12.1 million over four years and $3 million ongoing to double principal training numbers and increase training for aspiring principals
  • $13.2 million over four years and $4.8 million ongoing to establish and operate LOOKOUT Education Support Centres for the more than 6,000 school-aged kids in out-of-home-care
  • $8.6 million over two years to help re-engage Victorian students who drop out of school and training each year
  • $18 million for a new online assessment portal that will help teachers track students’ progress against the new curriculum efficiently

The extra support being provided to teachers and principals will be accompanied by a new emphasis on collaboration and accountability, including a set of statewide targets that will help focus on students.

We want to see more students reaching the highest levels of reading, maths and science. At the same time, we want our schools to give students the skills they need for work and life: confidence, resilience, and the capacity for critical and creative thinking. We also want more kids to take part in physical activity at school.

This is also about breaking the link between a child’s social and economic background and how well they do at school. Our aim is to significantly reduce the number of kids who drop out of school and training every year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We’re giving schools in regional Victoria the funding they need to provide extra support to those kids who need more help to do their best.”

“This boost will mean schools in our regions will receive on average more than double the amount of extra funding per student under the Education State.”

“Our funding, new initiatives and curriculum will give kids in regional Victoria the skills they need to have the best opportunities for work and for life.”

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