Category Archives: Education Portfolio

Coalition pledges $8M to upgrade Fairhills High School

Fairhills High School could soon begin a major school upgrade, with funding of $8 million to be committed by a re-elected Coalition Government, Minister for Education Martin Dixon said today.

Mr Dixon made the announcement with Member for Ferntree Gully Nick Wakeling during a visit to the school.

“The Napthine Government is building better schools for all Victorian students and I am delighted to announce that under a re-elected Coalition Government, Fairhills High School will commence an $8 million Stage 1 upgrade,” Mr Dixon said.

“This commitment will ensure students and families in Ferntree Gully have access to the very best facilities and learning spaces available.”

The Victorian Coalition Government has already delivered almost $40M in investment for local Knox schools in its first term of government – the largest investment in local schools in a generation.

This investment includes $15.5M to significantly upgrade Mountain Gate, Fairhills, Wattleview and Ferntree Gully North Primary Schools, $8M for the establishment of the Eastern Ranges School, and $15M for Boronia K-12 College.

“The provision of Stage One funding for Fairhills High School will allow the school to commence its transformation into a modern education facility well placed to meet the changing needs of our local students,” Mr Wakeling said.

“I look forward to working with Principal Harvey Wood and the Fairhills High School community as the local member in a re-elected Napthine Government to deliver this important upgrade.”

The Napthine Coalition Government is building a better education system, with a record $9.2 billion for school education in 2014-2015, $1 billion more than Labor’s last budget in 2010.

Twelve new Academies to train Victoria’s student teachers

Victorian children will reap the rewards of a $1.6 million program which supports the next generation of school teachers through stronger partnerships between schools and universities.

Minister for Education Martin Dixon today unveiled the Napthine Government’s 12 Teaching Academies of Professional Practice, which consist of university and school partnerships that deliver hands-on pre-service teacher education in a real-world school environment.

“Following the successful pilot of seven Schools Centres for Teaching and Expressions of Interest process, I am pleased to announce 12 successful Academies will lead teacher training into the future,” Mr Dixon said.

“These academies will strengthen school-university partnerships, enabling metropolitan and regional student teachers to learn on-the-job skills from experienced teachers.”

Each Academy comprises a coordinating school within a group of schools and a partner university. All up, about 140 schools will help deliver training to more than 1,000 student teachers annually.

“Research shows that many new teachers feel they were not properly prepared for the day-to-day rigours of their profession. By immersing student teachers in school environments, the Academies will help close the gap between theory and practice,” Mr Dixon said.

“Feedback from student teachers involved in the pilot shows that they feel better equipped to manage students and deliver quality teaching.

“It’s not only the student teachers who benefit from the Academy model. Current teachers will improve their own skills when they mentor others, and universities gain insights which will lead to enhanced course delivery.”

The Teaching Academies are one of the key initiatives detailed in the Napthine Government’s From New Directions to Action: World class teaching and school leadership policy paper.

The Napthine Government is building a better education system, with a record $9.2 billion for school education in 2014-15, $1 billion more than Labor’s last budget in 2010.

The 12 Academies are: 

Bendigo, La Trobe University TAPP  Rural Victoria, Federation University TAPP  Geelong, Deakin University TAPP  Melbourne, Deakin University TAPP  Melbourne, University of Melbourne TAPP  North East, University of Melbourne TAPP  North Melbourne, RMIT University TAPP  North Melbourne, Victoria University TAPP  North West, Australian Catholic University TAPP  Point Cook, Victoria University TAPP  South East, Monash University TAPP  Warrnambool, Deakin University TAPP

Minister opens $4 million Fairhills Primary upgrade

Minister for Education Martin Dixon today officially opened the $4 million upgrade to Fairhills Primary School with Member for Ferntree Gully Nick Wakeling.

On a tour of the new facilities Mr Dixon said the $4 million, announced in the 2013-14 State Budget, had funded the transformation of two classroom blocks into four new flexible learning centres.

“The Napthine Government is building better schools for all Victorian students, and the Coalition is proud to have invested $4 million in the future of Fairhills Primary,” Mr Dixon said.

“Since 2011 the Victorian Coalition Government has invested $1.1 billion in school capital, including $8 million for Eastern Ranges School, $4.5 million for Ferntree Gully North Primary School, $4 million for Wattle View Primary School, and $3 million for Mountain Gate Primary School,” Mr Dixon said.

Each centre is linked via a central „pine‟containing active and passive learning areas, and group learning and presentation spaces.

Fairhills Primary School Principal Moi Beaurain said the whole school community love the new open learning spaces.

“The spaces really push learning so that it meets the requirements of 21st century skill-based education. The kids have taken to it like a duck to water,” Ms Beaurain said.

Mr Wakeling said Fairhills has built an outstanding reputation as an innovative leader in education in Ferntree Gully.

“The funding provided by the Napthine Government has helped implement the school‟ vision of a whole-school approach to curriculum delivery through flexible learning spaces,” Mr Wakeling said.

“These fantastic 21st century facilities will boost student learning for families from Ferntree Gully and surrounding suburbs for generations to come.”

The Napthine Government is building a better education system, with a record $9.2 billion for school education in 2014-15, $1 billion more than Labor‟ last budget in 2010.

 

Languages off to a flying start with Prep passports

Children starting Prep in Victorian government schools next year will learn a foreign language until at least year 10 under a Napthine Government commitment to languages education.

Minister for Education Martin Dixon and Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell today joined students at Newport Gardens Primary School to launch the My Passport to Languages initiative, and present Japanese passports to incoming Preps.

Language education will be given a flying start with all Preps to receive a special passport-style achievement booklet from the Napthine Government for the language they will learn at school.

Mr Dixon said next year’s Preps will be the first group to benefit from at least 11 years of quality, compulsory languages education.

“We know that children who participate in high quality languages education as early in life as possible become better thinkers and more confident communicators and global citizens,” Mr Dixon said.

“Our reforms have reversed the 30 per cent decline in languages education under the former Labor Government, from 97 per cent participation in 1999 to just 69 per cent in 2010.

“In 2014, three-quarters of government primary schools were already offering languages, with many more expected to start programs for the first time in 2015.

“Only the Napthine Government can give young Victorians the best chance to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead in our increasingly globalised and competitive world.”

Passports in the eight most widely taught languages – Italian, Indonesian, French, Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish and Greek – will be distributed to all government primary schools offering a Prep language next year, and will be used by students and teachers to record students’ language learning milestones from Prep to Grade 3.

Ms Lovell said languages were also becoming increasingly important in Victorian early years centres, with many familiarising children with new words, sounds, songs and cultures in the years before school.

“At Newport Gardens Early Years Centre, children participate in a Japanese cultural program

which prepares them to start learning a language with confidence at school,” Ms Lovell said.

“By working together, children’s services and schools are helping young Victorians to understand and engage with the world around them from an early age.”

Languages are a key feature of Connecting to the World: A Plan to Internationalise Schooling, also launched today by Mr Dixon, which details $6 million in scholarships to meet demand for languages teachers, $1 million in start-up grants, as well as the $13 million Young Leaders to China Program, and $370,000 in overseas sister school grants.

For more information on Connecting to the World: A Plan to Internationalise Schooling, go to: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/learningdev/Pages/connected.aspx

Minister opens $10 million Hazel Glen College Primary Campus

Minister for Education Martin Dixon has officially opened the $10 million primary school campus of Hazel Glen College today with Member for Northern Victorian Amanda Millar and Liberal candidate for Yan Yean Sam Ozturk.

“This funding delivers 21st century facilities for students and teachers, designed to boost student learning,” Mr Dixon said.

Mr Dixon toured the $10 million primary campus, which opened this year and currently has 185 students. He also inspected works on the $11.5 million Stage 1 of the secondary school buildings, which will open next year with an expected intake of around 200 Year 7 students.

Mr Dixon said the Napthine Government had also delivered $12 million in the 2014-15 State Budget for Stage 2 of the secondary school, which will open in 2016.

“This investment will deliver a new two-storey building containing 28 purpose-built teaching and learning studios, a library and multimedia resource centre, high-tech lecture theatre, and Year 12 study space with kitchen and student amenities,” Mr Dixon said.

Hazel Glen College Principal Darryl Furze said the school had had an “absolutely outstanding first eight months”.

“We have great staff and with hundreds more students starting next year, things are about to really take off. It’s a very exciting time for the whole school community.”

Mr Ozturk said he has been a strong advocate for local education infrastructure.

“The opening of Hazel Glen College builds on the Napthine Government’s investment in the growing northern suburbs of Melbourne, including $4.7 million for Whittlesea Secondary College, $1.6 million for Wallan Primary School and a brand new primary school at Mernda, as part of a $191 million Public Private Partnership to deliver 11 new schools across Victoria,” Mr Ozturk said.

“The Napthine Government has delivered on all of its school commitments from the last

election, and is building a total of 23 new schools including Hazel Glen College,” Mr Dixon said.

The Napthine Government is building a better education system, with a record $9.2 billion for school education in 2014-15, $1 billion more than Labor’s last budget in 2010.

 

Minister for Education Martin Dixon today officially opened three science laboratories at Kyneton Secondary College, and inspected construction of a $5 million community sports facility at Gisborne Secondary College with Member for Northern Victoria Region Amanda Millar and the Liberal Candidate for Macedon Donna Petrovich.

Mr Dixon said the Victorian Coalition Government’s investments in Macedon schools are delivering important community facilities for students and families.

“The funding of $330,000 for the science laboratory refurbishment is building better science education infrastructure at Kyneton Secondary College, for the benefit of all local students,” Mr Dixon said.

“Kyneton Secondary College joins Mooroopna Secondary College and Neerim District Secondary College that have also received grants to refurbish science laboratories.

“The Napthine Government is also investing $31.2 million in 400 science teaching scholarships, training 200 primary maths and science specialists, developing six science and maths centres, and grants for schools to specialise in sciences,” Mr Dixon said.

“Science education is vital for the future of the Macedon community, and will be a cornerstone of Victoria’s highly-skilled workforce for decades to come,” Ms Millar said.

Mr Dixon also inspected construction of the new double-court gymnasium at Gisborne Secondary College which will be used by students as well as local sporting and community groups, and will see the former sports hall converted into performing arts and drama spaces.

Ms Petrovich said the Napthine Government invested $3.5 million in 2012-13 State Budget, and Macedon Ranges Shire Council contributed $1.5 million towards the $5 million project.

“This is a fantastic example of how schools, local councils and the wider community can work together for the benefit of all students and families in Macedon,” Ms Petrovich said.

Since 2011, the Coalition Government has delivered a $1.1 billion investment in school infrastructure, including 23 new schools, and upgrades to schools including $5.3 million for Kyneton Secondary College and $3.5 million for Kyneton Primary School in Macedon.

 

$7 million Castlemaine Secondary College wellbeing centre opens

Minister for Education Martin Dixon officially opened the $7 million health and wellbeing centre for students at Castlemaine Secondary College today, with Member for Northern Victoria Region Amanda Millar and Liberal candidate for Bendigo West Michael Langdon.

Speaking from the newly refurbished centre, Mr Dixon said the $7 million upgrade was the first stage of a redevelopment to allow for the college’s two campuses to eventually merge on a single site in Blakeley Road.

“The new student health and wellbeing centre is a welcome addition to the school, and I know students will benefit from these impressive facilities,” Mr Dixon said.

“The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering for students in Castlemaine, with an additional $5.5 million for Stage 2 of the college’s redevelopment in the 2014-15 State Budget.”

The health and wellness centre houses a gymnasium, science and general purpose classrooms, as well as an open area for assemblies and other activities.

A new bus bay, external sports grounds and hard courts were also built.

“The Napthine Government has delivered on all of its school commitments from the last election, has built or is building 23 new schools, and is significantly upgrading existing schools like Castlemaine Secondary College,” Mr Dixon said.

“Since 2011, we have invested $1.1 billion in school capital, including $1.1 million for Winters Flat Primary School, $1.9 million for Quarry Hills Primary School, $3.592 million for Eaglehawk Primary School, and $11.5 million for Golden Square Primary School.”

Mr Langdon said the new facilities would benefit both current and future students and families in the Castlemaine community.

“These new facilities will be of great benefit to the students, staff and families of Castlemaine Secondary College for years to come,” Mr Langdon said.

The Napthine Government is building a better education system, with a record $9.2 billion for school education in 2014-15, $1 billion more than Labor’s last budget in 2010.

Victorian schools and students lead the nation

National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results show Victorian students continue to perform at a high level, ranking the state among the highest performing jurisdictions in Australia, Minister for Education Martin Dixon said today.

“While parents can be confident that their children are developing vital skills for life, like literacy and numeracy, it is important we continue to drive improvement, from early primary school through to senior secondary and beyond,” Mr Dixon said.

Mr Dixon said the data showed around 93 per cent of Victorian students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9, were performing at or above the national minimum standard in reading, with the area of greatest improvement occurring at year 3.

“It is pleasing that Year 5 reading has improved substantially over the medium term, but the Napthine Government wants more students achieving in the top bands. We also want higher levels of achievement in numeracy in the secondary years of schooling,” Mr Dixon said.

Mr Dixon said these results reinforce the importance of the Victorian Coalition Government’s drive to improve teaching and learning standards, and its sharp focus on student outcomes.

“That is why we have delivered a range of targeted initiatives, such as training 200 teachers to become maths and science specialists, and additional funding to support disadvantaged students,” Mr Dixon said.

“We should also remember that the primary value of NAPLAN continues to be the individual student report to parents, while schools also benefit from the valuable range of information provided to them about the performance of all students at the individual, class and year level.”

Schools receive detailed information on student performance on each question in the NAPLAN tests so they can track progress over time.

Parents of children who participated in NAPLAN testing will receive reports detailing their child’s achievement. These will be distributed by schools who will receive them from 2 September, 2014.

The Napthine Government is building a better education system, with a record $9.2 billion for school education in 2014-15, $1 billion more than in Labor’s last budget.

SNAPSHOT OF VICTORIA’S PERFORMANCE 2014

In line with previous years, Victoria, along with the ACT and NSW, are the highest performing jurisdictions in 2014.

In terms of mean scores, Victorian students continue to perform well. Across the five domains, our primary years students in particular perform above the remaining jurisdictions.

In reading at least 93 per cent of Victorian students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are performing at or above the national minimum standard in 2014.

In numeracy at least 95 per cent of Victorian students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are at or above the national minimum standard in 2014.

For more information, please go to: http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Pages/prep10/naplan/parents/index.aspx

Principals appointed for three new schools in Melbourne’s west

Minister for Education Martin Dixon today announced the appointment of foundation principals for three soon-to-open schools serving families in Melbourne’s booming west.

School leaders Susan Seneviratne, Frank Pawlowicz and Jennifer Crowle for Wyndham Vale South Primary, Melton North West Primary and Truganina P-9 College respectively, officially start in their new positions today.

“High-performing and passionate school leaders play a vital role in managing and supporting teachers, and have the power to positively impact on student learning,” Mr Dixon said.

“Principals play not only a critical role in managing and guiding schools; they can also play an important leadership role in the wider community.

“As a former foundation principal, I know that this is especially the case in new and growing suburbs, where new schools serve as the heart and soul of the community.”

For the remainder of 2014, the principals will be busy speaking with parents of prospective students and taking enrolments, as well as recruiting teachers and other school staff.

Mr Dixon said the schools, funded and constructed under the Victorian Coalition Government, are now taking enrolments for the first intake of students for the start of the 2015 school year.

“I am proud that the Napthine Government is able to deliver local education opportunities for families in Melbourne’s west, who were long neglected under the former Labor government.”

Mr Dixon wished the three principals all the best in their new roles.

“I am confident Susan, Frank and Jenny will provide strong and dynamic leadership at these fantastic new schools,” Mr Dixon said.

The Napthine Government is building better schools for communities across Melbourne and Victoria, with 23 new schools, and upgrades to existing educational infrastructure funded through a $1.1 billion investment in school capital since 2011.

The Victorian Auditor-General agreed that the Coalition Government’s 2012 maintenance audit provided the first evidence-based picture of school maintenance needs across the state, and identified a $420 million school maintenance backlog left by the former Labor Government.

The three new principals are:

Susan Seneviratne, Wyndham Vale South Primary School: Susan was principal of Keilor Primary School from 2007 until last week, and was previously the principal of Exford Primary School. Susan will be based at Iramoo Primary School until Wyndham Vale South Primary School opens in 2015.

Frank Pawlowicz, Melton North West Primary School: Frank taught in regional and metropolitan schools prior to becoming principal of Rockbank Primary School in 2012. He will be based at Wedge Park Primary School until Melton North West Primary School opens in 2015.

Jennifer Crowle, Truganina P-9 College: Jenny had been principal of Moonee Ponds West Primary School since 2010, following a stint as assistant principal at the school. She will be based at Truganina South Primary School until Truganina P-9 College opens in 2015.

 

Victorian teachers invited to improve skills overseas

Minister for Education Martin Dixon today called on Victorian government school teachers to expand their teaching skills – and broaden their horizons – through an annual overseas teacher exchange.

Applications are now open for the 2016 Victorian Teaching Fellowship Program, which allows Victorian teachers to spend up to 12 months living and working in countries such as Canada, USA, UK, Germany and Switzerland.

Mr Dixon said the program benefited Victorian students as well as teachers.

“An experience such as this can be life-changing for individual teachers, and make a significant difference in the learning outcomes of Victorian students,” Mr Dixon said.

“The new teaching practices and approaches our teachers bring back to Victorian classrooms can enrich and invigorate their classrooms and the experience of their students.”

Mr Dixon said students also benefited from learning directly from the overseas exchange teachers who spend time working in our schools while their Victorian counterparts are abroad.

“These teachers bring the world directly into our schools, contributing global perspectives right across the curriculum,” Mr Dixon said.

“The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to preparing young Victorians for the global workforce by providing them with opportunities to develop their language, intercultural and leadership skills.”

The fellowship is a direct exchange program, which means Victorian teachers are matched with overseas teachers with whom they exchange roles and accommodation for the entire time away.

Full-time teachers and principals with a minimum of four years tertiary education and five years teaching experience prior to the exchange departure are invited to apply by 17 October 2014.