Govt announces initiative to keep students in school

Govt announces initiative to keep students in school

The Victorian Government has announced a new program to help principals and teachers keep more students in school.

The $5.9m program was announced by the state’s education minister, James Merlino, this week in response to a report from the Victorian Ombudsman on government school expulsions.

Merlino said the previous government had “abandoned” students in trouble, leaving them to disengage from learning and drop out of school early.

“We won’t do that because you can’t just give up on kids. We’re acting decisively to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations, and support principals, teachers and students,” he said.

“We have invested more than $100m to help at risk students stay in school and stay out of trouble.”

Merlino said the Victorian Government would implement all of the recommendations in the Ombudsman’s report, including making sure that there is higher level departmental approval for all prep, Year One and Year Two expulsions.

In addition, more support and oversight of expulsions will be provided through Regional Engagement Officers, who will work with principals and teachers to intervene early for those at risk of expulsion.

Merlino said that there will also be an overhaul of the Department of Education Training data collection, analysis, record-keeping and reporting, to make sure that expulsions are monitored appropriately

Meanwhile, the Victorian Government’s $13.2m Lookout program is helping 6,000 students in out-of-home care to stay in education and the $8.6m Navigator program is helping 10-18 year olds who are at risk of leaving school.