Date:
6 Sept 2022

The Hon. Natalie Hutchins, MP
Minister for Education and Minister for Women

The Hon. Gayle Tierney, MP
Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education, and Minister for Agriculture

Ms Ingrid Stitt, MP
Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep, and Minister for Workplace Safety

Dear Ministers

In accordance with the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and the Financial Management Act 1994, I am pleased to present the Department of Education and Training’s Annual Report for the year ending 30 June 2022.

Yours sincerely

Jenny Atta
Secretary
Department of Education and Training
6 September 2022

Secretary’s letter

I am pleased to present the Department of Education and Training’s Annual Report for 2021–22.

Over the past year, the department has focused on improving education outcomes for all Victorians. Amidst the uncertainty prompted by the COVID‑19 pandemic, Victoria’s education sectors have, and continue to, play a critical role in Victoria’s social and economic response.

As we entered the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus shifted to ensuring face‑to‑face learning resumed uninterrupted. Every level of Victoria’s early childhood, education and training and skills systems have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the delivery of high-quality programs and services.

In January 2022, one million children safely returned to commence the new school year and our youngest learners started kindergarten on time. A full suite of COVIDSafe measures protected our community and minimised disruption to learning, including access to COVID-19 vaccinations for school communities, delivering 51,000 air purification devices to government and low-fee non-government schools, and the provision of 80 million free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to children, students and staff in schools and early childhood services. Additional measures were put in place to ensure adequate staffing in schools to manage short-term COVID-19 and winter illness related impacts.

Access to high-quality early childhood services is central to giving every child the best start in life. Victoria’s early childhood education and care services continue to improve with almost 92% of services meeting or exceeding the National Quality Standard for educational programs and practice. This has improved every year since 2015. In addition, 98% of early childhood education and care services met or exceeded the National Quality Standard for collaborative partnerships with families and communities. This is another measure that has steadily improved since 2017.

In 2021, funded kindergarten programs were made free or low cost for more than 100,000 families. Free Kinder formed part of the economic recovery support for Victorians during 2021, providing increased job security for around 4,700 teachers and 6,300 educators, as well as supporting workforce participation.

This year, our universal funded kindergarten program for 3-year-olds marked a major milestone, with the program available for at least 5 hours in around 2,700 providers across the state. We also enhanced engagement with vulnerable and disadvantaged children. In 2021, the Early Start Kindergarten program was accessed by about 400 refugee and asylum seeker families, and the proportion of 3-year-old Aboriginal children enrolled in the program increased to nearly 76%.

In schools, the department remained focused on building a modern education system that fosters excellence, equity and wellbeing.

In the 2021 National Assessment Program of Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests, a greater proportion of Victorian students achieved above the national minimum standards than any other Australian state or territory. This result was all the more welcomed, given the challenges students and teachers faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been significant improvements in Year 3 and 5 students’ reading since 2015, with the proportion of students in the top 2 NAPLAN bands increasing by 8.3 and 7.9 percentage points. Our Year 7 students achieved the highest scores of any jurisdiction in reading and numeracy, and our Year 9 students achieved the highest scores for spelling. We were delighted to see more Aboriginal students in Years 3 and 5 achieving in the top 3 NAPLAN bands in reading increase by 8.3 and 13.0 percentage points respectively.

We are reforming senior secondary school education to build the aspirations and skills of young people in Victoria, set them up for future careers, and meet the needs of the modern economy. From 2023, the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Vocational Major will replace the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). The department is working with all government secondary schools to lay the foundations and ensure the best possible start to the new certificates in 2023.

Our updated Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO 2.0) placed wellbeing alongside learning as a core outcome for every Victorian student. The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System made recommendations to mental health and wellbeing treatment, care, and support, including a focus on early intervention. In response, a School Mental Health Fund has been established, accompanied by a menu of evidence-based programs and initiatives. These have been designed to give schools confidence in identifying programs, staff and resources that improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes for their students. Mental health practitioners were placed in all government secondary schools to provide students with direct counselling and related activities, including family support and referral to specialist services.

We continue to support an inclusive and equitable schooling system through programs such as Glasses for Kids and Affordable School Uniforms. During 2021–22, the Glasses for Kids program provided vision screenings to more than 5,600 students and free glasses to more than 1,300 students. The Affordable School Uniforms program also supported students experiencing financial disadvantage. From July 2021 to June 2022, approximately 67,200 students from 1,329 government schools received more than 255,800 items through the program.

Schools play a key role in supporting students to thrive by providing positive and inclusive learning environments. During 2021–22, approximately 600 Victorian government schools transitioned to our new Disability Inclusion funding and support model. The department’s design of new schools and upgrades also ensure that facilities support a learning environment that does not disadvantage children with learning or physical disability.

The department continued to deliver its substantial school infrastructure program through investments in new schools, significant upgrades and modernisation projects. Since July 2017, the department has delivered 253 school infrastructure projects. This included opening 14 new schools in 2022 and completing a further 67 modernisation projects during 2021–22.

We continue to reshape our training and skills sector to meet Victoria’s changing and growing needs. To achieve this goal, the department is strengthening interactions with industry, students and communities through the new Victorian Skills Authority (VSA) and is establishing a more connected system that plans for and responds to skills demand effectively.

A vibrant Technical and Further Education (TAFE) network combined with programs, such as Big Build Apprenticeships and Free TAFE for priority courses, ensures we create relevant skills pathways for students, apprentices and trainees right across Victoria. In 2021, training subsidies supported 157,000 TAFE network course enrolments. Of these, 86% related to qualifications that lead to jobs and economic growth. Nearly 55,000 enrolments in the Free TAFE for priority courses were recorded, up from about 30,000 in 2020. In addition, the Big Build Apprenticeships program received over 1,800 expressions of interest.

Training activities were strong in 2021 and the availability of practical placements increased. An outstanding level of training quality has been maintained for 5 years, with the vocational education and training (VET) student satisfaction with training continuing to rise. At the same time, we are seeing increased enrolments from regional areas, with almost 85,000 government-subsidised course enrolments contributed by regional students in 2021. The Adult Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board has continued to provide an important point of access in the community for those learners seeking to engage in pre-accredited training through more than 260 Learn Locals across the state.

For universities, during 2021–22 we continued to rollout the $350 million Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund. Through the fund, Victorian universities have been supported to deliver capital works, applied research and research partnerships focused on boosting Victoria's productivity and economy.

I want to thank all administrative staff, educators, teachers, principals, support staff and specialists who deliver exceptional services every day across early childhood education and care, schools, and TAFE and training organisations. It is through their hard work, commitment, and adaptability that we have been able to achieve all this.

I look forward to continuing to work with all sectors across the early childhood, education and training portfolios to deliver the best possible outcomes for Victorians.

Jenny Atta
Secretary

Year in review

The Department of Education and Training (the department) is delivering on the Victorian Government’s commitment to make Victoria the Education State by providing all Victorians with the best learning and development experience. Education provides all Victorians with the skills and knowledge they need to actively participate in, and contribute to, our rapidly changing economy and society.

The department’s Strategic Plan 2021–25 guides the provision of high-quality education, training, development, and student health and wellbeing services. The department is committed to meeting its objectives, including the Victorian Government’s Education State reforms.

The department’s vision

The department’s vision is:

Together we give every Victorian the best learning and development experience, making our state a smarter, fairer and more prosperous place.

In pursuing this vision, the department is committed to the Victorian public sector (VPS) values of:

  • responsiveness
  • integrity
  • impartiality
  • accountability
  • respect
  • leadership
  • human rights.

These values underpin the behaviours that the community expects of all public sector employees. Actions that are consistently guided by the public sector values strengthen the capacity of the department to operate effectively, and to achieve its purpose and functions.

Purpose and functions

The department is responsible for delivering and regulating statewide learning and development services to approximately one-third of all Victorians across the early childhood, school education, and training and skills sectors. The table below outlines the department’s services during 2021–22.

The department’s services by sector in 2021–22

Early childhood

School education

Training and skills, and higher education

Birth to 8

More than 400,000 children and families

5 to 18

More than 1,014,200 students

15 to 65+

More than 328,800 government-subsidised enrolments in VET

  • Early years learning and development, including early childhood education and care (ECEC) services
  • Primary education
  • Secondary education
  • Special education
  • Language
  • TAFE
  • Dual-sector universities
  • Private registered training providers
  • Learn Locals
There are a diverse range of public, private and not-for-profit providers serving Victorians and international students of all ages:
  • More than 4,590 approved education and care services providing long day care, kindergarten, outside-school-hours care, and family day care
  • Approximately 270 licensed children’s services providing limited-hour services such as occasional care
  • 1,557 government schools
  • 729 non-government schools (498 Catholic schools and 231 independent schools)
  • 12 TAFE institutes
  • 10 universities operating under state legislation (4 of which are dual-sector that also provide VET)
  • 269 government-contracted registered training organisations (RTOs), including community-based, not-for- profit, industry-based and private organisations
  • 263 Learn Local organisations, which are community owned, not-for-profit organisations, and Adult Education Institutions registered with the ACFE Board to deliver pre-accredited training

Progress against the department’s 2021–25 Strategic Plan initiatives

The department is delivering its objectives through 32 key strategic initiatives. A progress summary of these initiatives is provided below.

Strategic Plan initiatives progress summary

Initiative

2021–22 progress summary

Early childhood education

Child Information Sharing Scheme

Following the rollout of Phase 2 of the Scheme, the department implemented a range of change management activities in line with recommendations made in the 2-year review of the Scheme. The department also trained over 12,900 professionals on the Child and Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme by the end of 2021–22.

Early Childhood Workforce Strategy

The department consulted with the kindergarten sector on an updated strategy to support the attraction, retention and quality of the kindergarten workforce. In December 2021, the department released the Next Steps in Victoria’s Kindergarten Workforce Strategy. The strategy includes a directory of 28 workforce programs, supports and new initiatives, such as the creation of a new traineeship program funded by Jobs Victoria.

Increase kindergarten participation and engagement for vulnerable and disadvantaged children

In 2021, the department implemented Early Start Kindergarten for refugee and asylum seekers. This was accessed by about 400 refugee and asylum seekers, taking total enrolments in Early Start Kindergarten to a record 3,245. The proportion of 3-year-old Aboriginal children enrolled in Early Start Kindergarten increased from 68.2% in 2020, to 75.6% in 2021.

Three-Year-Old Kindergarten

In 2022, the Three-Year-Old Kindergarten initiative was expanded to cover all Victorian local government areas. Around 2,700 services across Victoria are now delivering at least 5 hours of kindergarten each week.

Schools

Differentiated support for school improvement

During 2021–22, 207 schools were supported through the Differentiated support for school improvement program.

Education Plans

The department launched the Bayswater Plan in March 2022 and Shepparton Education Plan’s Stage 4 Tertiary years in March 2022. During 2021–22, the 8 Education Plans transformed local educational outcomes for approximately 33,000 students in 89 government schools across Victoria.

Excellence in teacher education reforms

Over 900 experienced government, Catholic, independent and early childhood teachers completed the Effective Mentoring Program. Over 800 graduate teachers from Victorian government schools attended Graduate Teacher Conferences. Pre-service teachers also received immersive professional placements through 10 partnerships between 6 universities and over 150 schools.

Improving student health and wellbeing

The department commenced a project to identify and build supports for 132 visiting teachers with expertise and experience in specific disabilities and impairments. The Visiting Teacher Service gives schools and teachers guidance in supporting engagement and participation of students with disability and additional needs. This benefits over 2,700 students across the state.

During 2021–22, the department also established a Health and Wellbeing Key Contact (HWKC) function. According to a review of HWKC function, 89% of school contacts support the HWKC function continuing.

Inclusion for all

As part of the reform’s 5-year staged roll-out, approximately 600 Victorian government schools have transitioned to the new Disability Inclusion funding and support model. The department also commenced new initiatives focused on building inclusive education capability.

Learning specialists leading excellence in teaching and learning

In 2021–22, over 800 learning specialists participated in professional learning, and 15 communities of practice were established across metropolitan and regional schools. Approximately 1,800 participants attended the Middle Leaders in Schools online conference.

Literacy and Numeracy Strategy

Through the Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy Support initiative, in Terms 3 and 4 of 2021, 10,333 Year 8 and 10 students were supported by 1,545 teachers. In Terms 1 and 2 of 2022, 14,122 Year 8, 9 and 10 students were supported by 1,625 teachers.

In addition, the department’s Tutor Learning Initiative has engaged over 7,760 teaching professionals to provide targeted learning support to approximately 200,000 students.

Marrung: Aboriginal education plan 2016–26

In 2021 the Extended Koorie Literacy and Numeracy Program provided support to 377 Koorie students. In addition, community understanding and safety training has been delivered to 1,408 government school campuses.

Outside-School-Hours Care Establishment Grants

In 2021–22, the department allocated grants to 201 schools across the state. This has created up to 5,000 additional outside-school-hours care places in schools where there were previously no services.

Responding to the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence

The department has implemented recommendations of the Royal Commission. More than 1,950 Victorian government, Catholic and independent schools are implementing and embedding the Respectful Relationships initiative, including all government schools.

Responding to the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

In October 2021, the department published an interim Schools Mental Health Menu to support school planning, in response to the recommendations made in this Royal Commission report. The menu is a list of evidence-based programs and initiatives across the 3 tiers of intervention, which are designed to give schools confidence in identifying programs, staff and resources that will improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes for their students.

School infrastructure program

Of the 553 school infrastructure project commitments made in the 2018–19 State Budget, 253 are completed. This included opening 14 new schools in 2022 and completing a further 67 modernisation projects during 2021–22. The remaining 300 project commitments are in progress and are on track to be completed by 31 December 2024.

Senior secondary pathways reform

During 2021–22, the department supported accreditation and public release of the new VCE Vocational major and the new Victorian Pathways Certificate. Enrolment numbers in the Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships program increased to 1,920.

Transforming the first years of the teaching profession

In Semester 2 of 2021, the Career Start pilot provided support for 380 graduate teachers through a structured induction program. In Semester 1 of 2022, over 730 graduate teachers participated in the pilot.

Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership (VATL)

The Academy commenced on 1 January 2022 and opened its flagship location in March 2022. The Teaching Excellence Program is delivering advanced professional learning for 250 highly skilled teachers from government, Catholic and independent schools.

Victorian professional learning communities (PLC) initiative

In Semester 2 of 2021, 130 Victorian government schools received intensive support and training to commence PLC implementation. In 2021–22, 1,169 schools were implementing PLCs, with the department providing intensive coaching and implementation support to 237 government schools.

Higher education and skills

Big Build Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships Victoria has received over 1,800 expressions of interest to participate in the Big Build Apprenticeships program and has engaged with around 50 major projects.

Building better TAFEs

The GOTAFE Seymour Health and Services Training Facility was completed and is now operational. The Gordon Culinary School in Geelong, South West TAFE Warrnambool Campus Learning and Library Hub, and Stage 2 of the Chisholm Institute Frankston redevelopment are in their construction phases. Melbourne Polytechnic Collingwood Campus redevelopment is in tender phase and is shortly anticipated to be in its construction phase. Bendigo Kangan Institute Broadmeadows and GOTAFE Archer Street are in the design stage. All projects are expected to be completed by June 2025.

Free TAFE for priority courses

In 2021, 54,965 students enrolled in Free TAFE. This contributed towards more than 157,000 government-subsidised course enrolments in the TAFE network. Students commencing in Free TAFE accounting and bookkeeping qualifications also increased by 65%.

Responding to the Skills for Victoria’s Growing Economy Review

The VSA was launched on 1 July 2021 to reshape the Victorian training and skills system. The VSA Advisory Board was subsequently established in October 2021.

Skills for major projects

The New Footscray Hospital Jobs Hub has been established, combining the work of Multiplex’s Connectivity Centre and the Victoria University Skills and Jobs Centre.

Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund

The $350 million Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund supports all 10 universities with capital works, applied research and research infrastructure. In 2021, grant agreements were fully executed across 55 projects.

Corporate

Asset Strategy

As part of the department’s refreshed Asset Strategy 2021–31, a set of Strategic Asset Management Plans were developed for each asset portfolio. The early childhood plan consists of 13 actions, one of which has been completed. The schools plan consists of 43 actions and sub-actions, 7 of which have been completed. The higher education and skills plan consists of 7 actions, one of which has been completed. The corporate plan has 12 actions, 2 of which have been completed. All remaining actions are on track.

Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan for the education and training sector

The Adaptation Action Plan 2022–26 for the education and training system was tabled in parliament and published on the department’s public website in February 2022. The plan contains 22 actions that the department is undertaking to support the system adapt to climate change impacts.

DET Victorian Public Service (VPS) People Strategy 2021–24

During 2021–22, the department continued to measure and monitor the impact of hybrid working, implement the Executive Development Strategy, and develop evidence-based resources and programs to further embed the mental health and wellbeing charter. The department also delivered its Disability Employment Plan 2019–22 and Aboriginal Employment Plan 2020–26 and launched its Gender Equality Action Plan 2022–25.

Embedding the benefits of flexible and new ways of working

During 2021–22, the department launched a Hybrid Roadmap which included establishing a digital coaches network. The department delivered workshops to support the implementation of the new VPS flexible working policy, implemented its online system for managing recording agreements and promoted a range of resources to support the implementation.

Safe and Well in Education Framework and Strategy 2019–24

During 2021–22, the department delivered the COVID-19 Assurance Program to 1,269 schools. In addition, the Policy and Advisory Library has received over 8.3 million page views since 2020.

Wirnalung Ganai 2019–21 (Aboriginal Inclusion Plan)

55 Yan Ngitj (Aboriginal Inclusion ambassadors) have been increasing engagement in Aboriginal inclusion through pop quizzes, guest speakers, book clubs, events and yarns, visual displays, walks to sites of significance, and delivering Welcome to Country. The department is finalising a new Aboriginal Inclusion Plan, building on the previous plans. The new plan focuses on making the department a culturally safe place that values and respects Aboriginal voice and expertise, ensures an active commitment to Aboriginal self-determination, and includes workplace inclusion in corporate areas and schools.

Changes to the department during 2021–22

There were no changes to the department’s objectives and output structure as a result of internal reviews or machinery of government changes.

Discontinued operations

There were no discontinued operations under the department’s output structure.

Direct costs attributable to machinery of government changes

As part of a machinery of government restructure, the department’s professional learning functions for Victorian teachers and school leaders (formerly known as the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership) was transferred to the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership (the Academy). The Academy was established on 1 January 2022 as a new public entity.

As result of the establishment of the Academy, the department incurred $0.2 million in direct costs relating to rebranding. There are no anticipated future costs attributable to the machinery of government change.

Department of Education and TrainingCosts incurred
($ million)
Direct costs
Consultants and contractors-
Relocation-
Telephony-
IT and records management-
Rebranding0.2
Redundancies-
New staff-
Other-
Total costs0.2

Objectives, indicators and outputs

The department’s progress is reported under the objectives, outputs and indicators set out in the 2020–21 State Budget Paper No. 3 (BP3): Service Delivery, as shown in the following table.

Progress and performance reporting

The department’s progress towards BP3 objectives and indicators, and its performance against the output performance measures, are reported below.

Departmental objectives, indicators and linked outputs (BP3)

Objectives

Indicators

Outputs

Achievement

Raise standards of learning and development achieved by Victorians using education, training, and early childhood education services

  • Children developmentally ‘on track’ on the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) in the language and cognitive skills domains [1]
  • Proportion of early childhood services meeting or exceeding National Quality Standard Area 1 (NQSA1—educational program and practice)
  • Students meeting the expected standard in national and international literacy and numeracy assessment [2]
  • Average score in science (Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 15‑year-olds) in Victoria compared to global top performers [3]
  • Percentage of positive responses to teacher collaboration within school [3]
  • Year 12 or equivalent completion rates of young people [3]
  • VET course completions
  • Certificate III or above course completions
  • Proportion of graduates with improved employment status after training
  • Strategy, review and regulation
  • Early childhood education
  • School education—primary
  • School education—secondary
  • Training, higher education, and workforce development
  • Support services delivery
  • Support for students with disabilities

Engagement

Increase the number of Victorians actively participating in education, training, and early childhood education services

  • Participation in a kindergarten service in the year before school
  • Proportion of ECEC services meeting or exceeding National Quality Standard Area 6 (NQSA6—Collaborative partnerships with families and communities)
  • Mean number of student absent days per full‑time equivalent (FTE) per year [4]
  • Mean number of unapproved student absence days per FTE per year in secondary schools [4]
  • Students with a positive opinion about their school providing a stimulating learning environment [4]
  • VET enrolments by age and gender
  • VET enrolments by administrative regions
  • VET enrolments by skills shortage category courses
  • VET enrolments by specialised category courses
  • VET participation by learners facing barriers
  • VET participation by unemployed learners
  • Proportion of VET students satisfied with teaching in their course
  • Strategy, review and regulation
  • Early childhood education
  • School education—primary
  • School education—secondary
  • Training, higher education, and workforce development
  • Support services delivery
  • Support for students with disabilities

Wellbeing

Increase the contribution education, training, and early childhood education services make to good health and quality of life for all Victorians, particularly children and young people

  • Proportion of children who have no behavioural issues on entry into Prep
  • Proportion of children who have no general development issues on entry into Prep
  • Children developmentally ‘on track’ on the AEDC social competence and emotional maturity domains
  • Students feeling connected to their school
  • Students with a positive opinion about their school providing a safe and orderly environment for learning
  • Level of student satisfaction with VET
  • Strategy, review and regulation
  • Early childhood education
  • School education—primary
  • School education—secondary
  • Training, higher education, and workforce development
  • Support services delivery
  • Support for students with disabilities

Productivity

Increase the productivity of our services.

  • $ per kindergarten student per year
  • $ per primary school student per year
  • $ per secondary school student per year
  • $ per VET student contact hour
  • Strategy, review and regulation
  • Early childhood education
  • School education—primary
  • School education—secondary
  • Training, higher education, and workforce development
  • Support services delivery
  • Support for students with disabilities


[1] This indicator refers to government and non‑government schools.

[2] This indicator refers to government schools for the national assessments, and both government and non‑government schools for the international assessments.

[3] These indicators refer to government schools.

[4] These indicators refer to government schools.

Progress towards achieving departmental objectives

The department monitors the outcomes of children and young people as they move from early childhood through their school years and into further education and work. It also monitors the progress of adult learners seeking to re-skill and re‑engage with the workforce. Progress is measured through 4 objectives of:

  • achievement
  • engagement
  • wellbeing
  • productivity.

In 2021–22, the department continued supporting Victorian children, students and their communities. As we entered the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the department’s focus shifted to ensuring face‑to‑face learning resumed uninterrupted across education settings. This was supported through the introduction of a full suite of COVIDSafe measures. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect the delivery of some services and programs.

Education and training were critical to Victoria’s social and economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, TAFEs delivered free training courses for school leavers, young people and job seekers, as well as supported the community more broadly with free infection prevention and control training.

Objectives

Performance against output performance measures

The following sections detail the outputs provided by the department to the Victorian Government, including performance measures and costs for each output, and the actual performance results against budgeted targets by output over the full year ending 30 June 2022.

The department’s 7 outputs are:

  • strategy, review and regulation
  • early childhood education
  • school education—primary
  • school education—secondary
  • training, higher education and workforce development
  • support services delivery
  • support for students with disabilities.

The reported outputs refer to the financial year, unless otherwise indicated, and link to the department’s objectives of achievement, engagement, wellbeing and productivity.

Discontinued measures for 2021–22

Following assessment by the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, the performance measures listed below were discontinued for 2021–22.

Discontinued performance measures

Output group

Performance measure name

School education – secondary

Percentage of Year 9 students with a Careers e-Portfolio

Support for students with disabilities

Students funded under the disability program in government schools as a proportion of the total student population

Five-year financial summary

The financial statements presented in this Annual Report relate to the controlled operations of the department, including government schools.

Other entities in the portfolio report separately, so their results are not included in the controlled financial transactions of the department. These include the ACFE Board, Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES), VATL, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT), VRQA, and TAFE institutes.

The following table summarises the department’s financial results for the financial year just completed and provides comparative information for the previous 4 years.

Five-year financial summary

Five-year financial summary

2021–22
$m

2020–21
$m

2019–20
$m

2018–19
$m

2017–18
$m

Operating revenue

Output appropriation [1]

14,834.4

16,133.9

14,887.5

13,815.7

12,816.0

Other revenue

926.2

597.9

830.4

927.6

834.7

Total income from transactions

15,760.6

16,731.6

15,717.9

14,743.3

13,650.7

Total expenses from transactions

15,276.4

16,121.4

15,118.1

14,073.5

13,328.5

Net result from transactions

484.2

610.2

599.8

669.8

322.2

Total other economic flows

190.3

50.5

(39.2)

(98.1)

(10.3)

Net result for period

674.5

660.7

560.6

571.7

311.9

Net cash flow from operating activities

813.7

605.7

1220.3

1,047.1

790.0

Total assets

40,627.2

33,535.4

29,228.9

27,846.8

27,771.7

Total liabilities

3,349.1

3,302.9

3,355.5

3,022.0

2,809.3

Net assets

37,278.1

30,232.5

25,873.4

24,824.8

24,962.4


[1] Output appropriation is the main source of recurring funding from the Victorian Government.

Current year financial review

Financial performance and business review

The department’s net result from transactions for the financial year that ended on 30 June 2022 is a surplus of $484.2 million, compared with a surplus of $610.2 million in 2021. With the inclusion of other economic flows of $190.3 million, the net result for the financial year is a surplus of $674.5 million, compared with a surplus of $660.7 million in 2021.

The decline in revenue primarily reflects the removal of capital asset charge (CAC) funding due its discontinuation from 1 July 2022. This decrease is partially offset by general inflation-related indexation, RATs received free of charge from the Department of Health and revenue for delivery of output initiatives approved from the State Budget.

The department’s decline in expenditure also primarily reflects the discontinuation of the CAC. This decrease is partially offset by higher expenditure incurred for the transition back to onsite learning. This covers additional COVID-19 related expenditure for cleaning, personal protective equipment such as the supply of free RATs to government and non-government schools and higher levels of operational activity in schools. In addition, employee expense increases aligned with the Victorian Government Schools Agreement backpay, enrolment growth and increased statutory on-cost rates also contributed to higher expenditure.

Balance sheet

The department’s net assets as at 30 June 2022 were $37.3 billion, comprising total assets of $40.6 billion and total liabilities of $3.3 billion.

The major assets of the department are schools’ property, plant and equipment. These represent 88% ($35.7 billion) of total assets. In 2022, the value of the department’s property, plant and equipment increased by $6.5 billion, primarily due to the upward revaluations of $5.5 billion ($3.2 billion in buildings and $2.3 billion in land) and the government’s continued investment in schools by acquiring land, building new schools and completing school upgrades.

Liabilities totalling $3.3 billion mainly consist of payables, borrowings and employee benefit provisions. The $46.2 million increase in 2022 is due to the timing of cash payments and is partially offset by movement in employee-related costs, particularly the decrease in long service leave provisions.

Cash flows

The net cash flows from operations are impacted by changes in receivables, payables and provisions, arising from the timing of cash payments and receipts against these items.

Disclosure of grants and transfer payments

Appendix 5 outlines the department’s assistance to education and training service providers and organisations in 2021–22.

Capital projects

The department and its related portfolio entities manage a range of capital projects to deliver government services.

During 2021–22, the department completed several capital projects with a total estimated investment (TEI) of $10 million or greater. The details of these projects are below.

Capital projects with a TEI of $10 million or greater completed during the financial year ended 30 June 2022

Capital projects with a TEI of $10 million or greater completed during the financial year ended 30 June 2022
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The department’s ministers

As at 30 June 2022, the department supports 3 ministers: the Hon. Natalie Hutchins MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Women; the Hon. Gayle Tierney MP, Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education and Minister for Agriculture; and Ms Ingrid Stitt MP, Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep and Minister for Workplace Safety. [1]

Minister for Education and Minister for Women – The Hon. Natalie Hutchins, MP

Minister Hutchins is the Member for Sydenham and was elected to the Victorian Parliament as the Member for Keilor in 2010. She has been Minister for Education and Minister for Women since June 2022.

Minister Hutchins previously served as Minister for Local Government from December 2014 to September 2017, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Industrial Relations from December 2014 to December 2018, Minister for Women and Minister for Prevention of Family Violence from September 2017 to December 2018, and Minister for Crime Prevention, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Youth Justice and Minister for Victim Support from June 2020 to June 2022.

The Minister for Education oversees Victoria’s Education State reforms and is responsible for providing education to more than a million Victorian students. This portfolio includes government investment in school infrastructure and programs.

Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education, and Minister for Agriculture – The Hon. Gayle Tierney, MP

Minister Tierney was elected to the Victorian Parliament as the Member for Western Victoria in 2006 and has held the office of Minister for Training and Skills since November 2016, Minister for Higher Education since November 2018 and Minister for Agriculture since June 2022. In 2020, Minister Tierney was appointed Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.

Minister Tierney served as Minister for Corrections from November 2016 to December 2018, and previously served as the Cabinet Secretary and Deputy President of the Victorian Legislative Council. She was Deputy Chair of the Rural and Regional Parliamentary Committee from March 2007 to November 2010, and Deputy Chair of the Education and Training Parliamentary Committee from February 2010 to June 2013.

The Minister for Training and Skills is responsible for ensuring that Victoria’s VET and Adult Community Education systems play a key role in achieving the economic and social objectives of government, industry, local communities and individual learners.

The Minister for Higher Education administers legislation that establishes Victoria’s 8 public universities, their governing bodies and accountability requirements. The Minister for Higher Education is also responsible for developing policy related to higher education in Victoria and representing Victorian universities and higher education providers within government.

Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep and Minister for Workplace Safety – Ms Ingrid Stitt, MP

Minister Stitt was elected to the Victorian Parliament as the Member for Western Metropolitan in 2018. She has been the Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep and the Minister for Workplace Safety since September 2020.

The Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep oversees Victoria’s kindergarten system, the staged rollout of universally funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and Pre-Prep, and early childhood education services, including for children with disability or developmental delay.


[1] The Hon. James Merlino, MP was the responsible Minister for Education from 1 July 2021 to 27 June 2022. This is reported and disclosed in Note 9.3 Responsible persons of the financial statements.

The department’s senior executives

Secretary – Ms Jenny Atta PSM

Jenny Atta has been Secretary of the department since March 2019. Prior to this, Jenny was Acting Secretary from November 2018.

Jenny is directly responsible for the management of the department and for supporting the early childhood, education and training portfolio ministers in the management and administration of their portfolios.

Jenny joined the department in December 2015 as Deputy Secretary, Infrastructure and Finance Services Group. In this role, Jenny was responsible for the management and oversight of the department’s financial, procurement and information technology services, along with strategic advice and planning for State Budget processes, and infrastructure policy and delivery. This followed a range of senior roles in the VPS, including with the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) and the Department of Human Services.

Jenny holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master of Public Policy and was awarded a Public Service Medal in June 2021 for outstanding public service to strategic social policy reform and delivery in Victoria. In 2019, Jenny was inducted as an Institute of Public Administration Australia Victorian Fellow.

Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood Education – Ms Kim Little

Kim Little leads the implementation of early childhood education components of the Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan: Ready for kinder, Ready for school, Ready for life , and the delivery of universally funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten. Kim’s group is home to the critical work of the ECEC regulator, and the whole-of-government effort to improve information sharing to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

Prior to this appointment, Kim was the Assistant Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood Portfolio in the Early Childhood and School Education group. Kim has also worked in the Higher Education and Skills (HES) group, with a focus on tertiary education policy matters, including market design and intervention. Before joining the department, Kim was in the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), focusing on education and social policy issues.

Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Master of Arts. Kim has also worked as a philosopher at Monash University and as a corporate lawyer.

Deputy Secretary, Financial Policy and Information Services – Mr Tony Bates PSM

Tony Bates joined the department as Deputy Secretary, Financial Policy and Information Services (FPIS) in April 2019. Tony was also appointed as Associate Secretary from April to November 2020 to support the department and the Victorian Government’s COVID‑19 pandemic response.

Prior to joining the department, Tony worked at the Department of Justice and Regulation, DPC, DTF and Victoria Police. Tony has a breadth of experience in leading significant strategic reforms to public sector governance, corporate services and fiscal strategy, and in performance measurement.

Tony holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and Master of Science from the University of Melbourne, is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an alumni of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) Executive Fellows Program. Tony was awarded a Public Service Medal in January 2016 for outstanding public service to fiscal management in Victoria.

Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills – Ms Lill Healy

Lill Healy joined the department as the Deputy Secretary, HES in April 2021. Lill has worked across the community, private and public sectors, and has held leadership positions in a diverse range of portfolios, all of which focused on greater economic and social inclusion for Victorian communities.

As Deputy Secretary, Service System Reform, DPC, Lill led a cross government team progressing new ways of tackling entrenched socioeconomic disadvantage through community-led, place-based approaches and wider service delivery reform. Previously, Lill served as Deputy Secretary, Policy, Programs, Small Business and Employment, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, where she oversaw the development of Jobs Victoria and the establishment of Victoria’s first Social Procurement Framework and Social Enterprise Strategy.

Lill holds a Bachelor of Business, Banking and Finance and a Diploma of Youth Work from Victoria University and is an Executive Fellow of ANZSOG.

Deputy Secretary, People and Executive Services – Ms Kate Rattigan

Kate Rattigan was appointed as Deputy Secretary, People and Executive Services (PES) in June 2016.

Kate has worked in various departmental capacities, providing strategic oversight over complex operational matters, and specialist and technical advice to ministers, the secretary, executives, managers, regional directors, school principals and school councils.

Kate is the department’s environmental sustainability champion, Disability Champion, LGBTIQ+ champion, and executive leader for the Charter of Human Rights. In these roles, Kate influences whole-of-government and departmental actions through the Safe and Well in Education Strategy.

Kate holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Employment and Labour Relations Law from the University of Melbourne.

Deputy Secretary, Policy, Strategy and Performance – Ms Kylie White

Kylie White joined the department as Deputy Secretary, Policy, Strategy and Performance (PSP) in May 2021.

Previously, Kylie was Deputy Secretary, Environment and Climate Change in the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and prior to that, Kylie was an Executive Director in DPC and has held senior roles in other VPS departments, including the Department of Economic Development, Jobs Transport and Resources.

In 2018, Kylie was recognised by the Institute of Public Administration Australia as a Victorian Fellow, in recognition of her outstanding contribution of public administration.

Kylie holds a Bachelor of Forest Science from the Australian National University and a Master of Environmental Management from the University of New England and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Deputy Secretary, School Education Programs and Support – Mr Stephen Fraser

As Deputy Secretary, School Education Programs and Support (SEPS), Stephen leads policy and program development to improve learning and wellbeing outcomes for all students, regardless of their background.

Stephen has extensive experience in education policy making and implementation. He has held a range of senior roles in the Department of Education and Training, including Regional Director for the South Western Victoria Region and Executive Director for Implementation.

Following a long history in the VPS, Stephen spent time in the UK, as Deputy Chief Executive for the Education Endowment Foundation.

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Science from Monash University.

Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services – Dr David Howes PSM

David Howes is Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services (SRS). Immediately prior to this, David was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the VCAA.

David began his career as a teacher in the western suburbs of Melbourne, where he worked for 10 years as a teacher and in a range of school leadership roles. He was awarded a Public Service Medal in the 2021 Australia Day Honours for his commitment to deliver educational equity and excellence for Victoria’s school students.

David holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Diploma of Education, Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Melbourne. David also holds an Executive Master of Public Administration from ANZSOG.

Chief Executive Officer, Victorian School Building Authority – Mr Tom Kirkland

Tom Kirkland was formally appointed as CEO of the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) in November 2021. Tom has been at the VSBA since its establishment in August 2016, and was previously Executive Director of the Delivery Division.

Tom leads the planning and delivery of the $12.8 billion investment in school and kindergarten infrastructure. Tom is committed to ensuring teachers and students have exemplary learning spaces and meeting enrolment demand across the state.

Before joining the VSBA, Tom worked in health infrastructure across Australia, including delivering the new Royal Children's Hospital in 2014.

Tom holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University, Kingston and a Master of Health Administration from the University of Ottawa.

Assistant Deputy Secretary, Budget Reform – Andrea Del Monaco

Andrea Del Monaco joined the department in August 2021 as the Assistant Deputy Secretary, Budget Reform.

Andrea has extensive public sector experience, including senior executive roles at DTF providing advice on the state’s budget outlook and fiscal strategy, financial and resource management frameworks, and government’s industrial relations policy settings. Andrea’s experience includes roles at various Victorian Government departments. Andrea has also worked in the private sector both in Australia and overseas.

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from LaTrobe University.

Assistant Deputy Secretary, Economic Recovery – Ms Meena Naidu

Meena Naidu joined the department as the Assistant Deputy Secretary, Economic Recovery in May 2021.

Meena has more than 25 years’ experience in public policy and regulation. Meena’s early career focused on policy and regulation in transport and utilities in Australia, the UK and developing countries, supporting productivity and access to services. Meena has led agriculture policy and food regulation before refocusing on safeguarding community service providers.

Prior to joining the department, Meena led the establishment of Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme in the Victorian Commission for Children and Young People at the then Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Meena has led Health and Human Services Regulation and Reform at DHHS.

Meena holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University and a Master of Science in Economic Regulation and Competition from the University of London.

Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services – Ms Lee Watts

Lee Watts joined the department as the Executive Director of Training Market Operations, HES. Lee was appointed to the role of Assistant Deputy Secretary, HES, in 2016. After leading the design and implementation of a more managed, stable and competitive training system in HES, Lee joined SRS as Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary in October 2021.

Prior to joining the department, Lee was a senior consultant at a US consulting firm. Lee has held senior teaching and research positions at several Australian universities, with a focus on workplace relations, alternative dispute resolution and change management.

Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Master of Arts from the University of Melbourne and has authored several books.

Assistant Deputy Secretary, Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Taskforce – Mr Scott Widmer

Scott Widmer commenced as Assistant Deputy Secretary, Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Taskforce in February 2021. The role is responsible for leading the development and implementation of a range of reforms that support all Victorian secondary school students to access high‑quality vocational and applied-learning pathways.

Scott has over 15 years’ experience in policy and programs in the public sector, having worked across Education, Health and Human Services, Justice, and Premier and Cabinet.

Scott started his career as a lawyer practising in intellectual property litigation, and has degrees in Law and Arts, and a Master of Public Policy and Management, from the University of Melbourne.

Organisational structure

This organisational structure shows the membership of the department’s governing board – the Executive Board as at 30 June 2022.

  • Jenny Atta, Secretary
  • Kim Little, Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood Education
  • Tony Bates, Deputy Secretary, Financial Policy and Information Services
    • Andrea Del Monaco, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Budget Reform
  • Lill Healy, Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills
    • Meena Naidu, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Economic Recovery
  • Kate Rattigan, Deputy Secretary, People and Executive Services
  • Kylie White, Deputy Secretary, Policy, Strategy and Performance
  • Stephen Fraser, Deputy Secretary, School Education Programs and Support
  • David Howes, Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services
    • Lee Watts, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services
  • Tom Kirkland, Deputy Secretary, Victorian School Building Authority
  • Scott Widmer, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Taskforce
  • Stephen Gniel, CEO, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority [1]

Early Childhood Education (ECE)

ECE has lead responsibility for the early childhood education components of Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan: Ready for kinder, Ready for school, Ready for life , and for major early childhood reform commitments, such as the progressive implementation of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten, School Readiness Funding and initiatives to improve kindergarten access and participation.

ECE provides oversight of the kindergarten sector, regulates early childhood services (as required by theEducation and Care Services National Law Act 2010 and the Children’s Services Act 1996) and leads the implementation of relevant legislative reforms such as Child Link and the Child Information Sharing Scheme.

Financial Policy and Information Services (FPIS)

FPIS delivers crucial corporate services for the department. Its primary purpose is to provide strategic and technical advice on budget, finance and resourcing, information technology and procurement. It plays a key role in financial management, oversight and reporting across the education, early childhood, and higher education and training and skills portfolios.

Higher Education and Skills (HES)

HES oversees tertiary education in Victoria, including VET, higher education, adult education and lifelong learning. HES incorporates the Office of TAFE Coordination and Delivery which drives cooperation in planning and quality delivery of TAFE training.

HES contributes to the department’s vision and objectives by ensuring that Victorians have equitable access to high-quality and relevant post‑school education and training. These education settings enable individuals to develop deep knowledge, skills and attributes needed for current and future jobs.

People and Executive Services (PES)

PES oversees essential systems such as people services, workplace accommodation, environmental sustainability and employee health, safety and wellbeing. PES also delivers school operational policy reform and engagement, and provides the department with communications and media support, legal services, and ministerial services, including for Cabinet and Parliament support. Other functions PES provides for the department include knowledge and records management, privacy, Freedom of Information (FOI), integrity, audit and assurance.

Policy, Strategy and Performance (PSP)

PSP supports the department to maintain its intensive focus on delivery, performance and engagement to achieve the Education State reform agenda and the department’s vision. It aligns policy leadership with strategy, planning, risk, governance and performance to enable evidence-informed decisions that drive current and future system-wide reforms improving outcomes for all Victorians.

School Education Programs and Support (SEPS)

SEPS shapes the schooling system to foster development and wellbeing, and to provide students with the knowledge and capabilities required for the modern world. It leads policy development and program design to improve educational and wellbeing outcomes, and to ensure that all learners are engaged and active.

SEPS works in close collaboration and partnership with public bodies, service delivery partners, parents and families to lead, monitor and refine the Victorian school improvement agenda.

Schools and Regional Services (SRS)

SRS delivers frontline education, health and professional development services. It is responsible for building the capability of professional workforces, developing excellence in leadership, teaching quality and educational practice.

SRS is the primary interface between the department’s central office, schools, early childhood services and service providers. It guides effective policy and program implementation, creating local opportunities for engagement, partnership and the promotion of best-practice approaches. It also embeds continuous improvement through performance monitoring and delivers emergency management policy across early childhood services, schools and higher education providers.

Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA)

VSBA designs, builds, maintains and upgrades schools and kindergartens to cater for Victoria’s rapidly growing student population and to meet the changing needs of modern education. VSBA brings a different approach to planning education infrastructure, with greater community input, new partnerships with local governments, universities and the private sector, as well as school designs geared to modern teaching.

Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Taskforce (SSPRT)

SSPRT leads the design and implementation of Senior Secondary Pathways Reforms. It works in close partnership with the VCAA, which is responsible for designing and implementing the new Victorian senior secondary certificates. SSPRT also coordinates all existing programs and activities that support vocational and applied learning pathways in the senior secondary system, such as the Head Start and Transforming Career Education initiatives.


[1] Information relating to the VCAA can be found in the VCAA’s 2021–22 Annual Report.

Governance structure

The department is led by the Secretary, who reports to the Minister for Education, the Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep, the Minister for Training and Skills, and the Minister for Higher Education.

Executive Board

The Executive Board provides stewardship by giving a whole-of-department perspective to advise the Secretary (who, in turn, is responsible to government and ministers).

The Executive Board assists the Secretary with strategic leadership of the department, its public bodies and the department’s portfolio as a whole, including vision, purpose, strategic direction and objectives.

The Executive Board plays a central coordinating and authorising role for whole-of-department issues, prioritising resources and monitoring performance.

The Executive Board also oversees the financial and operational performance of the department by monitoring the delivery of key priorities, ensuring integration and alignment across groups and public bodies. The Executive Board drives strong leadership and a high-performing culture across the department’s sectors.

The Executive Board continues to lead the department’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Executive Board comprises:

  • Secretary (Chair)
  • all Deputy Secretaries and the CEO of the VSBA
  • CEO, VCAA
  • one Assistant Deputy Secretary, rotating on a quarterly basis.

Education State Board

The Education State Board is an advisory body to the Executive Board for the department’s strategic policy thinking. On referral from the Executive Board, the Education State Board considers and provides advice on major policies or reforms that progress the Education State agenda.

The Education State Board comprises:

  • Secretary (Chair)
  • all Deputy Secretaries and the CEOs of the VSBA and VSA
  • all Assistant Deputy Secretaries
  • all Regional Directors
  • CEO, VATL
  • CEO, VCAA.

Committee structure

The department’s committee structure and the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) membership as at 30 June 2022 are reported below. A full list of the department’s committees, their purpose, and the extent to which they achieved their purpose is included in the department’s Annual Report 2021–22 Additional Information, available from www.vic.gov.au/department-education-and-training-annual-reports .

Two committees report to the Secretary:

  • the ARC
  • the Executive Remuneration Committee.

Six committees report to the Executive Board:

  • the Budget and Financial Management Committee
  • the Culture, People and Integrity Committee
  • the Government Schools Reform Committee
  • the Information Management and Technology Committee
  • the Infrastructure Planning and Delivery Committee
  • the Procurement and Probity Committee.

Audit and Risk Committee

The ARC assists the Secretary to fulfil governance responsibilities and obligations under the Financial Management Act 1994 (the FM Act).

The ARC was established in 2003 in compliance with the Standing Directions under the FM Act. The ARC directly advises the Secretary on governance, risk management, audit, compliance and control assurance activities.

The ARC comprises the following members:

  • Ms Helen Thornton, Independent member (Chair)
  • Mr Stuart Alford, Independent member
  • Ms Natalie Foeng, Independent member
  • Mr Andrew Nicolaou, Independent member
  • Ms Kate Rattigan, Deputy Secretary, People and Executive Services
  • Mr Chris Thompson, Regional Director.

Public bodies

The department works in conjunction with the following public bodies:

  • ACFE Board
  • AMES Australia
  • Centre for Adult Education
  • Children’s Services Coordination Board
  • Disciplinary Appeals Boards
  • Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution
  • Merit Protection Boards
  • TAFE institutes
  • VATL
  • VET Development Centre
  • VCAA
  • Victorian Children’s Council
  • VIT
  • VRQA
  • VSA.

Most public bodies produce their own annual reports.

The public bodies that produce financial year reports (1 July – 30 June) are:

  • ACFE Board
  • AMES Australia
  • VATL [1]
  • VCAA
  • VIT
  • VRQA.

The public bodies that produce calendar year reports (1 January – 31 December) are:

  • Centre for Adult Education
  • TAFE institutes
  • VET Development Centre.

The public bodies that are included in Appendix 3 of this report are:

  • Children’s Services Coordination Board
  • Disciplinary Appeals Boards
  • Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution
  • Merit Protection Boards
  • Victorian Children’s Council
  • VSA.

[1] The Assistant Treasurer has provided an exemption for the VATL from the requirement to publish an Annual Report within its first year of operations.

Public sector values and employment principles

The department adopts the public sector values set out in the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees. The department’s values underpin how employees interact with colleagues, learners and families, members of the community and suppliers.

When employees act in accordance with the department’s values, the department is more effective, achieves outcomes and ensures the public has trust and confidence in the education system. This adherence also builds trust between employees and leaders, as everyone operates under the same principles and can be confident they are doing the right thing.

A suite of materials developed for use across the department ensures consistent interpretation, strong engagement and connection with these values among employees. These materials inform, educate and guide employees on what each of the 7 values means in the department’s context, and how employees can demonstrate these values through their actions and decisions.

The department is committed to applying merit and equity principles when appointing staff. The selection processes ensure applicants are assessed and evaluated fairly and equitably on the basis of the key selection criteria and other accountabilities without discrimination.

Occupational health and safety (OHS)

The Safe and Well in Education Strategy 2019–24 and its corresponding framework aim to provide a holistic focus on physical and psychological health, safety and wellbeing in both schools and corporate workplaces. During 2021–22, the strategy enabled the department to continue responding to and managing COVID-19. This included regularly updating the COVID-19 Safety Management Plan (COVIDSafe Plan) for both schools and corporate workplaces, as well as the COVIDSafe Assurance Checklist for schools.

A total of 737 targeted communications were sent to schools and assistance was provided to 720 schools through the COVIDSafe Assurance Program. Compliance to COVIDSafe controls is strong with randomised assessments showing an average compliance score of 96% in Term 4, 2021, and 90% in Term 1, 2022.

More broadly, the department continues to improve occupational health and safety for corporate and school staff by:

  • enabling employees and their families to access a total of 8,932 hours from the employee assistance program counselling, manager assist contacts, critical incident response and onsite support counselling services
  • enabling workplaces to access 521 hours of conflict resolution services, including mediation, conflict coaching and team facilitations
  • providing protective intervention training to equip school staff with the tools to manage and de-escalate challenging student behaviour while maintaining personal safety
  • commencing a holistic review of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) to make it streamlined, practical and easy to use for schools
  • launching EduSafe Plus, which provides a single simplified reporting tool for staff and student incidents, and an OHS and Workers Compensation digital management tool to enhance OHS and Workers Compensation performance and injury management
  • creating a Respectful Behaviours in the School Community Policy, which promotes the importance of respectful and collaborative relationships between parents, carers and school staff.

Incident and hazard management

Incidents, including injuries and other hazard-related events, increased from 21.35 per 100 FTE in 2020–21 to 21.70 per 100 FTE in 2021–22. This equates to an increase of 494 reports, totalling 16,128 in 2021–22 compared with 15,634 in 2020–21.

A new version of EduSafe Plus was released which coincided with awareness and promotional activities, including direct communications with all staff, as well as training webinars. This has prompted a significant increase in the number of incidents reported.

Number of incidents and hazards rate per 100 FTE: 2019–20 to 2021–22

Workers compensation

In line with the Safe and Well in Education Strategy, the department has enhanced supports to schools to assist them to promote safer, more efficient and sustainable return‑to‑work processes for injured employees. This includes the department’s Return to Work (RTW) and Compensation team providing:

  • early triage of new workers’ compensation claims to identify claims that may benefit from centralised support and guidance
  • enhanced systems to reduce the administrative burden of claims management
  • support to schools to identify suitable duties for injured employees to complete while they recover from their injuries
  • a new suite of workers’ compensation webinars to improve the capability of RTW coordinators and the management of work-related injuries.

Claims management

The number of standard claims increased from 773 in 2020–21 to 928 in 2021–22. This represented an increase per staff member from 1.06 claims per 100 FTE in 2020–21 to 1.25 claims per 100 FTE in 2021–22. This increase in part reflects the return to on-site work and learning in 2022.

The number of standard claims are comparable to pre-pandemic levels, which were 1.21 claims per 100 FTE in 2019–20.

Number of standard claims and rate per 100 FTE: 2019–20 to 2021–22

The number of lost time claims decreased from 458 in 2019–20 to 385 in 2021–22. This represented a decrease per staff member from 0.655 per 100 FTE in 2019–20 to 0.518 per 100 FTE in 2021–22.

Lost time claims and rate per 100 FTE: 2019–20 to 2021–22

The number of claims exceeding 13 weeks increased from 287 claims in 2019–20 to 299 claims in 2021–22. This represented a decrease per staff member from 0.41 claims per 100 FTE exceeding 13 weeks in 2019–20 to 0.40 claims per 100 FTE exceeding 13 weeks in 2021–22.

Claims exceeding 13 weeks and rate per 100 FTE: 2019–20 to 2021–22

The department’s workers compensation premium is a function of the premium rate as calculated by WorkSafe and the department’s remuneration. Further, the department’s premium rate is determined by adjusting the industry’s premium rate with the Employer Performance Rating (EPR). The EPR is a measure of the department’s claims cost relative to the industry’s claims costs.

The department’s premium increased from $97.7 million (excluding goods and services tax (GST)) in 2020–21 to $112.5 million (excluding GST) in 2021–22. This increase was the net effect of an increase in the department’s remuneration, and an increase in industry rate from 1.27% in 2020–21 to 1.32% in 2021–22. The increase in the department’s premium rate was driven by an increase in the industry’s premium rate from 1.41% in 2020–21 to 1.48% in 2021–22.

Premium rate: 2019–20 to 2021–22

The department’s EPR reflects the employer’s claims experience compared with employers across the industry. The EPR has increased from 1.114 in 2020–21 to 1.123 in 2021–22, but the rate of increase has slowed compared to 2019–20 to 2020–21, which marks an improvement.

Employer performance: 2019–20 to 2021–22

Performance against OHS and workers’ compensation management measures [1]

Measure

Key performance indicator

2019–20

2020–21

2021–22

Incidents

Number of incidents [2]

13,297

14,280

14,999

Rate per 100 FTE

19.0

19.5

20.2

Number of incidents requiring first aid and/or medical treatment [3]

5,190

4,886


Not available

Hazards

Total number of hazards reported

1,105

1,354

1,129

Rate per 100 FTE

1.6

1.9

1.3

Claims

Number of standard claims

843

773

928

Rate per 100 FTE

1.2

1.1

1.3

Number of lost time claims

458

377

385

Rate per 100 FTE

0.7

0.5

0.5

Number of claims exceeding 13 weeks

287

212

299

Rate per 100 FTE

0.4

0.3

0.4

Fatalities

Fatality claims

Claim costs

Average cost per standard claim ($)

96,182

120,885

149,507

RTW [4]

Percentage of claims with RTW plan < 30 days

OHSMS development and implementation/ review and improvement

Number of policies, procedures, guidelines and templates reviewed and/or updated

58

150

173

School audits completed [5]

325

47

26

Average OHSMS audit score (schools) [6]

80

87

82

Percentage of corrective actions completed—incident reports

55

57

55

Management commitment

Evidence of OHS policy statement, objectives, regular reporting to senior management and plans (signed by CEO or equivalent)

Complete

Complete

Complete

Evidence of OHS criteria in purchasing guidelines (including goods, services and personnel)

Complete

Complete

Complete

Management engagement in audits [7]

Senior management commitment—OHSMS review [8]

Yes

Yes

Yes

Consultation and participation

Evidence of agreed structure of designated workgroups, health and safety representatives, and issue resolution procedures

Complete

Complete

Complete

Percentage of schools reported to have health and safety representatives and OHS committees, based on audit results

63

64

46

Senior management involvement in consultation and communication [9]

Compliance with agreed structure of above

Completed

Completed

Completed

Risk management

Percentage of internal audits/inspections conducted as planned

79

62

90

Percentage of reported incidents investigated [10]

55

57

55

Number of improvement notices issued by WorkSafe inspector [11]

98

56

68

Percentage of issues actioned as part of the total issues identified in:

  • internal audits

50

6

32

  • health and safety representatives provisional improvement notices [12]

  • WorkSafe notices

100

100

100

Training

Percentage of managers and staff who have received OHS training:

  • induction

79

77

64

  • management training (OHS for principals)

74

71

73

  • contractors and temporary staff [13]

Percentage of health and safety representatives trained [14]:

  • acceptance of role (initial training)

68

77

73

  • retraining (annual refresher)

51

70

73

Total number of mental health training sessions

73

13 people managers and human resources staff

8 executives

8 (mental health webinars)

Absenteeism

Total number of days of absence due to injury or illness

628,411

627,543

679,070

Rate per 100 FTE

898

857

913

People Matter survey results

Response rate (%)

49

71

71

Percentage of respondents who think the department provides a safe work environment

86

65

Prosecutions

Total number of prosecutions

Mental health and wellbeing

Mental health audit [15]

92

Calendar of mental health and wellbeing activities [16]

Yes

Yes

Yes


[1] The department’s OHS and workers compensation measures are inclusive of the VSA. Data is sourced from the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA).

[2] The increase to the ‘Number of incidents’ in recent years can be attributed to fewer periods of remote learning. In the pre-pandemic reporting period of 2018–19, the number of incidents was 14,923. Additionally, a new version of EduSafe Plus was released in 2021–22. This coincided with a number of hazard and incident reporting awareness and promotional activities, including direct communications with all staff and training webinars.

[3] As a result of a major system upgrade and design change, the department is unable to provide this figure due to changes in the way information is captured and stored in the system’s database.

[4] The department is unable to report on this indicator because RTW plans are developed locally and their data is not collected centrally. The department is improving processes required to report on this measure as part of the EduSafe Plus Project.

[5] The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to limit the ability to conduct audits in the reporting period. The OHS Assurance Program (previously known as the OHS Audit Program) undertook a series of improvements. The new program was launched as an opt-in pilot in Terms 1 and 2, 2022.

[6] The results of the new Assurance Program in 2021–22 are not directly comparable to prior results within the OHS Audit Program.

[7] School principals engage with OHS auditors to lead corrective action. Currently, data is not collected centrally for the department to report on this measure. The department will consider how this measure will be reported.

[8] Senior management reviews the OHSMS, its performance and relevant development actions.

[9] Senior executives, executives, principals and management OHS nominees attend periodic OHS committees. Currently, the data needed to determine the percentage of participation is not captured centrally.

[10] Refers to percentage of reported incidents investigated by WorkSafe.

[11] Improvement notices for the purposes of this report include prohibition notices, non-disturbances notices, and other notices issued by WorkSafe Victoria.

[12] The department is unable to report on this indicator because data relating to provisional improvement notices are not collected centrally. The department will determine the processes needed to report on this indicator as part of its Employee Wellbeing and Operational Policy Reforms.

[13] Currently, the department does not maintain contractor training records centrally to be able to report on this measure.

[14] The updated checklist now only asks a single question relating to both the initial training and the refresher, therefore the data for ‘acceptance of role (initial training)’ and retraining ‘annual refresher’ is identical.

[15] The new OHS Assurance Program includes assessment of compliance against the Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy. A pilot to provide additional support is ongoing.

[16] Mental health and wellbeing activities have been organised centrally.

Comparative Workforce data

The following tables disclose the head count and FTE of all active public service employees of the department.

VPS staff employment levels as at June 2021 and June 2022
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The following table discloses the annualised total salary of department senior employees, categorised by classification. The salary amount is reported as the full-time annualised salary excluding superannuation.

Annualised total salary (by $20,000 bands) for executives and other senior non‑executive staff

Income band (salary)

Executives

STS

< $160,000

5 [1]

1 [2]

$160,000 – $179,999

2 [3]

3 [4]

$180,000 – $199,999

13 [5]

13 [6]

$200,000 – $219,999

27

9

$220,000 – $239,999

3

3

$240,000 – $259,999

9 [7]

-

$260,000 – $279,999

21 [8]

-

$280,000 – $299,999

8

-

$300,000 – $319,999

14 [9]

-

$320,000 – $339,999

3

-

$340,000 – $359,999

1

-

$360,000 – $379,999

5

-

$380,000 – $399,999

2

-

$400,000 – $419,999

2

-

$420,000 – $439,999

1

-

Total

116

29


[1] This band includes a SES on a part-time basis at 0.8 FTE, 3 SES on a part-time basis at 0.6 FTE and a SES on a part-time basis at 0.4 FTE.

[2] This band includes a STS on a part-time basis at 0.7 FTE.

[3] This band includes 2 SES on a part-time basis at 0.8 FTE.

[4] This band includes a STS on a part-time basis at 0.9 FTE.

[5] This band includes 3 SES on a part-time basis at 0.9 FTE.

[6] This band includes a STS on a part-time basis at 0.9 FTE.

[7] This band includes a SES at a 50/52 employment mode.

[8] This band includes a SES at a 50/52 employment mode.

[9] This band includes 2 SES at a 50/52 employment mode.

Workforce inclusion

The department is creating an inclusive working environment where equal opportunity and diversity are valued, and where the workforce reflects the communities we serve. The department’s commitment to deepening diversity and inclusion improves active participation, belonging and all people maintaining their uniqueness. Staff are valued and supported, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The department has several plans and strategies that support this including, its VPS People Strategy 2021–24, Disability Employment Plan 2019–22, Gender Equality Action Plan for 2022–25 and Aboriginal Employment Plan 2020–26.

Providing equal opportunity and echoing the voices of diverse staff and communities is important. The department values staff with non-binary gender identities at all levels, from VPS officers through to executives. The department acknowledges that, due to historical and current barriers to disclosure of non-binary gender identities, staff may not choose to disclose this information. As a result, targets or quotas are not currently a useful way to promote opportunities for gender‑diverse staff at all levels.

The following table outlines the department’s progress against current corporate workforce targets.

Department’s progress against employment inclusion targets

Workforce inclusion initiative

Target

Progress as at

30 June 2022

Progress as at

30 June 2021

Gender profile at executive levels [1]

50% women

50% men

61.5% women

38.5% men

54.4% women

45.6% men

Aboriginal employment targets

2% who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples

0.3%

0.4%

Disability employment targets

12% by 2025

0.4%

0.3%

A diverse workforce provides a range of different skills, perspectives and experiences to inform the department’s work. As well as informing policy development, the department’s thriving staff networks provide support, advice and social connections for staff. These networks include the DET African Australian Network, the DET Enablers Network, the Koorie Staff Network, the DET Pride Network and the DET Women of Colour Network. Staff are also encouraged to participate in the sector‑wide VPS staff networks.

Key highlights of our diversity and inclusion work completed over the past year include:

  • making all respectful workplaces e-learning modules in the department mandatory staff training
  • supporting Aboriginal participation in a range of Barring Djinang programs. This included staff participation in the Career Development Program and Leadership Development Program, and new candidates in the Aboriginal Internship program, VPS graduate program – Aboriginal pathways and YES trainee program
  • establishing the DET Women of Colour Network and the DET African Australian Network
  • commencing the RISE program in the department in 2021 to promote neurodiversity in the workplace, through an alternative recruitment pathway for people with autism
  • launching the Gender Equality Action Plan in May 2022, which was developed following consultations with 15,000 staff
  • achieving a Silver employer award in the Australian Workplace Equality Index. This recognised the significant work undertaken to reduce barriers and promote inclusion for LGBTIQ+ staff at the department.

[1] The self-described category is nil for this entry.

Senior Executive Service data

The following tables disclose information about the SES of the department and its public entities as at 30 June 2022.

Total number of SES (head count) in the department by gender

All

Men

Women

Self-described

Class

No.

Var.

No.

Var.

No.

Var.

No.

Var.

SES-3

9

+1

5

+1

4

SES-2

54

+14

22

+3

32

+11

SES-1

53

+9

19

-

34

+9

Total

116

+24

46

+4

70

+20

Reconciliation of executive numbers (head count) excluding public entities

2022

2021

Executives (financial statement Note 9.2) [1]

117

98

Accountable Officer (Secretary)

1

1

Less separations [2]

(10)

(11)

Less Executives employed by other departments

(1)

(1)

Total executive numbers as at 30 June

107

87

Number of SES (headcount) in the department’s public entities

All

Men

Women

Self-described

Entity

No.

Var.

No.

Var.

No.

Var.

No.

Var.

AMES Australia

6.0

1.0

-1.0

5.0

+1.0

Bendigo Kangan Institute

12.0

+2.0

5.0

-1.0

7.0

+3.0

Box Hill Institute

6.0

-4.0

2.0

4.0

-4.0

Chisholm Institute

9.0

+2.0

4.0

+1.0

5.0

+1.0

Gippsland Institute of TAFE

5.0

+2.0

2.0

-1.0

3.0

+3.0

Gordon Institute of TAFE

5.0

3.0

2.0

Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE

5.0

+1.0

2.0

3.0

+1.0

Holmesglen Institute

10.0

4.0

6.0

Melbourne Polytechnic

13.0

-3.0

7.0

-1.0

6.0

-2.0

South West Institute of TAFE

5.0

+4.0

1.0

4.0

+4.0

Sunraysia Institute of TAFE

1.0

1.0

VCAA

6.0

+1.0

3.0

3.0

+1.0

VET Development Centre

1.0

1.0

VIT

1.0

1.0

VRQA

4.0

+1.0

3.0

+1.0

1.0

William Angliss Institute of TAFE

3.0

2.0

1.0

Wodonga Institute of TAFE

5.0

+3.0

2.0

3.0

+3.0

Total

97.0

+9.0

44.0

-2.0

53.0

+11.0

0.0

0.0


[1] Note 9.2 in the financial statements lists the actual number of SES and the total remuneration paid to SES over the course of the reporting period. The financial statements note does not include the Accountable Officer, nor does it distinguish between executive levels or disclose separations.

[2] This item reflects all executive officers who have separated from the department, including those who transferred to another government department.

Other disclosures

Additional information available on request

FRD 22 requires the Accountable Officer to retain and make available specified information. This information may be made available to ministers, members of parliament and the public on request, subject to the provisions of the FOI Act.

The department has made the details of assessments and measures undertaken to improve the OHS of employees available in the Occupational Health and Safety and Workers Compensation section of this report.

The requirements listed below are included in the department’s Annual Report 2021–22 Additional Information, available from www.vic.gov.au/department-education-and-training-annual-reports.

They include:

  • a statement that declarations of pecuniary interests have been duly completed by all relevant officers
  • details of shares held by a senior officer as nominee or held beneficially in a statutory authority or subsidiary
  • details of publications produced by the department about itself and how these can be obtained
  • details of changes in prices, fees, charges, rates and levies charged by the department
  • details of any major external reviews carried out on the department
  • details of major research and development activities undertaken by the department
  • details of overseas visits undertaken, including a summary of the objectives and outcomes of each visit
  • details of major promotional, public relations and marketing activities undertaken by the department to develop community awareness of the department and its services
  • a general statement on industrial relations in the department and details of time lost through industrial accidents and disputes
  • a list of major committees sponsored by the department, the purposes of each committee, and the extent to which the purposes have been achieved
  • details of all consultancies and contractors, including:
    • consultants/contractors engaged
    • services provided
    • expenditure committed to for each engagement.

Financial Management Compliance Attestation Statement

I, Jenny Atta, certify that the Department of Education and Training, has no Material Compliance Deficiency with respect to the applicable Standing Directions under the Financial Management Act 1994 and Instructions.

Jenny Atta

Secretary
Department of Education and Training

Melbourne
6 September 2022

Financial statements

About this report

In accordance with FRD 10, the department is required to include a disclosure index in its Annual Report that:

  • lists relevant clauses of Victorian legislation with statutory disclosure requirements the department must comply with
  • provides a short description of the relevant requirements
  • provides a page reference for the Annual Report where the disclosure for each requirement is made.

Material not required under relevant legislation and pronouncements is not included in this report. A disclosure index that identifies the department’s compliance with statutory requirements is provided in Appendix 1.

Financial statements

These financial statements cover the Department of Education and Training as an individual entity.

The Department of Education and Training is a government department of the State of Victoria.

A description of the nature of the department’s operations and its principal activities is included at the start of this report.

Notes to the financial statements