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Message from the Secretary

I am pleased to introduce the Department of Education’s (the department) Strategic Plan for 2023–27. Our vision is simple: we want every child and young person to receive a great education so they can thrive now and in the future, so Victoria can be a fairer, smarter and more prosperous state. Education is the cornerstone of our society and economy.

We all have an important part to play in making sure Victorian early childhood education services and schools are the best they can be. Our job in regional and central operations is to support their efforts through designing, delivering and improving the systems and supports they need to do their jobs well.

Our new strategic plan outlines the department’s vision, guiding principles and outcomes, as well as focus areas and foundations. It is underpinned by our public sector values. For the first time, we consulted with people at all levels of the department in its development. Your knowledge and expertise have been vital, and I thank everyone who contributed time and ideas to make this plan better.

Our work will be guided by powerful new principles. We want to be known for our passion and curiosity, alongside our expert knowledge and skills. We want our partners and stakeholders to collaborate with us to solve problems. Seeing the whole picture, working together and adapting to deliver will be characteristic of the way we go about our work.

Our department’s revised remit focuses us on improving outcomes for children and young people. And as we work together with our First Nations communities to deliver the Victorian Government’s commitment to Voice, Treaty and Truth, our ambition for Victoria’s Aboriginal children and young people has never been greater.

The expansion of early learning will transform education in this state. By investing in high-quality early childhood education and care we are giving all Victorian children the very best start in life. Central to this is the expansion of Free Kinder programs for all 3- and 4-year-old children in participating services across the state, which was introduced in 2023.

In a new role for the department, from 2025 we are delivering 50 Victorian government-owned and operated early learning centres, which will make it easier for families to access high-quality, low-fee education and care services.

The new investments in early childhood education will also strengthen the connections and transitions between kindergarten and school.

Victoria’s National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) scores point to real strengths and improvement trends for our school system, as well as areas for renewed effort. The Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) 2.0 guides our schools to continue to focus on excellence in learning and also on student wellbeing. The department has a strong program of support for health and wellbeing. Central to this is the rollout of our mental health, wellbeing and disability inclusion reforms.

Our senior secondary pathways reforms will continue to better prepare students for either work or further education and training, and disability inclusion will support every student, of every ability, to thrive at school and in life.

We need to recruit more teachers and educators and retain the ones we have. The department is undertaking a comprehensive program of work to build and maintain a sustainable pipeline of teachers and educators, and to support existing staff. 

I am confident that this strategic plan will help every team in the department work more effectively. At an executive level, it will provide the guardrails for high-impact investment and implementation decisions. I look forward to engaging and collaborating with partners and stakeholders across our sectors to see this strategic plan come to life over the next 4 years.