Program Boosted To Keep More Kids In School

The Andrews Labor Government is expanding an important program to engage students at risk of disengagement from school, with three new recipient areas unveiled today.

Visiting Lowana College in Newborough, Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing announced the school is in one of the first three areas to benefit from the $43.8 million expansion of the Navigator program, providing direct support to help young people aged 12 to 17 years old to re-engage with school and reach their potential.

Navigator supports young people who are not attending school or struggling with attendance – connecting each young person with a case worker who can provide access to a range of support services and create a path back into education.

Today’s announcement will see Navigator expand to include:

  • Brimbank Melton (Melton, Caroline Springs and Sunshine)
  • Loddon Campaspe (Bendigo, Echuca)
  • Inner Gippsland (Warragul, Moe, Leongatha, Phillip Island)

The program will be introduced to these three new areas in 2019. It follows the successful earlier rollout which returned hundreds of students to school in eight areas of the state: Western Melbourne, Central Highlands, Bayside Peninsula, Southern Melbourne, Mallee, Goulburn, Ovens Murray and Hume-Moreland.

The new areas are part of a phased expansion of the program, with the remaining six areas of Victoria to benefit by 2021.

This program and others like it will be cut if the Liberals win the next election – when last given the chance, the Liberals slashed $1 billion out of the education system.

The Government is building the Education State so every Victorian student can get a great education and succeed, whatever their background or circumstances.

Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

If the Education State is about anything it’s about making sure every young person has the opportunity to reach their full potential. The Navigator program ensures all Victorian students have the support they need to continue their education.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“Navigator has already proven successful in helping students stay in school, and this expansion will really benefit more young people in more areas of Victoria.”

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