Minister Fires Starting Pistol For Blackwood Super Ride

Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today visited Blackwood Outdoor Specialist School in Moorabool and set more than 100 kids on their way in this year’s Blackwood Super Ride.

Now in its 24th year, the Blackwood Super Ride sees children from 22 Specialist Schools across Victoria ride and camp their way through the Wombat State Forest in a three-day bike ride.

Mr Merlino toured the school, which is a campus of Frankston Special Development School, and met with staff and students to discuss specialist education.

Mr Merlino also spoke with staff from the Residential Outdoor School Association, a network of four government schools providing specialist education. ROSA was formed in 2001 to promote high-quality outdoor education. The four schools involved are Blackwood Outdoor Specialist School, Outdoor School, Rubicon Outdoor Centre and Somers School Camp.

Part of the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to make Victoria the Education State includes ensuring all students have an equal opportunity to the knowledge and skills they need to shape their lives.

The Labor Government’s Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools promotes inclusive practices in schools, so they can better support all children and young people, including those with disabilities and special needs.

This plan includes a new $10 million Inclusive Schools Fund to help government schools better support the social and educational needs of children with a disability.

More information on the Special Needs Plan is available at:

The Labor Government’s 2015-16 Victorian Budget invests almost $4 billion in Victoria’s education and skills system – representing the single biggest boost to education funding in Victoria’s history.

The Budget provides $325 million to renovate, refurbish or rebuild 67 schools. It also includes $180 million for programs that will help families cover the extra costs of education, like camps, excursions and uniforms, so no child misses out.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We’re committed to supporting students with additional learning needs with a comprehensive plan. But we couldn’t do it without the dedication of people behind events like the Blackwood Super Ride”

“We’re investing almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State, so every community has access to great local schools and every child gets the chance to succeed.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Every child deserves to enjoy the adventure of outdoor education as part of their school experience.”

“Congratulations to Scott Tucker and the principals from other member schools for their commitment to delivering this fantastic experience for students.”

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