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


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.


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.


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.