Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says recommendations for the Shepparton Education Plan are nearing completion.
Ms Sheed said the local Strategic Advisory Committee was due to report to the Minister for Education, James Merlino, by the end of the year.
“For the past six months our Strategic Advisory Committee has been working hard with the community and the Department of Education to develop a blueprint to transform education in Shepparton and Mooroopna,” Ms Sheed said.
“We’re now nearing the end of the planning journey and are finalising our recommendation to the Minister for Education in preparation for funding consideration in the next Budget.
“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the process. Your views have been invaluable and it has been wonderful to witness your commitment to improving the educational opportunities for our kids.”
Ms Sheed used her Members Statement yesterday to update the Parliament on the plan’s progress following the second stage of community consultation which closed on October 18 after being extended due to demand.
The community provided feedback on four options, favouring two of the options which could see the four local secondary colleges combined into a super-school.
Details of the plan options can be found at https://engage.vic.gov.au/SheppartonEducationPlan.
A full copy of Ms Sheed’s speech is included below:
The Auditor-General's Access to Education for Rural Students report in 2014 found that regional and rural students fall behind their city counterparts when it comes to academic achievement, aspiration and secondary school completion.
Falling enrolments, below average Victorian certificate of education scores and consecutively poor NAPLAN results in the Shepparton district tell a similar storyAs part of the Shepparton education plan we have surveyed community views on current service provision, and the message could not have been clearer: our kids deserve better.
For the past six months our strategic advisory committee has been working hard, both in the community and with the Department of Education and Training, to develop a blueprint for change.
We visited schools across Victoria to see firsthand how others have overcome similar challenges of declining enrolments, socio-economic disadvantage and general lack of financial investment.
After the first round of consultation four options were developed but were quickly refined to two, with the community favoured option having the potential to bring fundamental change to the way in which education is delivered in Shepparton and Mooroopna by combining our four secondary schools possibly into one, but located on one or two campuses.
I acknowledge that this is drastic change, but the time for putting bandaids on the system has gone. It is time for transformation.
The plan is to start with secondary schools, but we know that a child's early years are the key to future success and have identified an immediate need for this to be addressed in Mooroopna.
The advisory committee will be finalising its recommendation to the Minister for Education in preparation for consideration in the next budget.
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