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Partnerships: Department of Education

Information on our partnerships with community groups and bodies.

Office of TAFE coordination and delivery

The Office of TAFE coordination and delivery will lead the TAFE network and ensure that Victorians have access to the best training for the jobs being created.

Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership

The Victorian Academy of Teaching and LeadershipExternal Link (Academy) delivers evidence-informed and inspiring professional learning to Victorian teachers and school leaders.

Municipal Association of Victoria partnership agreement

Our partnership agreement with the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)External Link outlines mutual support to:

  • improve outcomes for children, young people and their families
  • help ensure that every Victorian is given the best learning and development experience
  • make our state smarter, fairer and a more prosperous place.

It recognises the collaborative relationship between our department and councils in:

  • the planning, development and provision of initiatives
  • infrastructure and services across early childhood, schools, TAFE and training.

Principles of the agreement

The agreement provides a formal set of high-level principles to guide our partnership in its representation of local councils, committing both parties to:

  • mutual understanding and respect of mandates and responsibilities
  • transparency of financial relations, subject to relevant legislation and policies
  • mutual support in representations to the Commonwealth
  • awareness of synergies between us, the MAV and councils
  • sustaining and improving outcomes for children and families in all communities
  • fostering opportunities to work collaboratively, and transparent and timely communication and consultation.

Action plans are developed annually under the partnership agreement on a financial year basis. These are reviewed and updated throughout the year.

The agreement was signed on 30 March 2018.

Achievements of the partnership

  1. The Early Years Compact is a compact between our department, the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFS) and local government (represented by MAV) 2017-2027 Supporting Children and Families in the Early Years was signed on 28 April 2017.
  2. Review of the early childhood agreement for children in out of home careExternal Link and subsequent improvements including the confirmation of local government positions to support the agreement, and weekly notification of data.
  3. Development of the new Maternal and Child Health Service memorandum of understanding (PDF)External Link
  4. Joint advocacy on universal access to support continued Commonwealth funding for 15 hours of kindergarten funding.
  5. Representation on a variety of our governance groups, including:
    1. Victorian Children’s Council
    2. DET Coleman Foundation Partnership Committee
    3. Early Years Compact Board and Compact Steering Group
    4. Marrung Central Governance Board
    5. New Technical Schools State-Wide Policy Implementation Panel
    6. Maternal and Child Health Expert Reference Group
    7. Children and Youth Implementation Working Group
    8. Early Childhood Development Advisory Group.

Download the partnership agreement

Visit the Municipal Association of VictoriaExternal Link to read more about the agreement.

Victorian Community sector partnership agreement

In September 2018 the Secretary of the Department and the CEO of Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS)External Link signed the 'Department-Victorian Community Sector Partnership Agreement 2018-22', refreshing the 2014-2018 partnership agreement.

The partnership agreement recognises the community sector as an important partner in the development of policy, the delivery of services and the improvement of outcomes of all Victorians, particularly for those who are vulnerable or experiencing disadvantage.

It recommits our increased collaboration, consultation and engagement with the community sector. The aims of the partnership agreement are achieved through annual action plans agreed to by our department and VCOSS, who is responsible for furthering the partnership on behalf of the sector.

Principles of the agreement

This agreement is based upon a model of engagement emphasising cooperation and commitment to the following principles:

  • a shared vision to achieve the best possible learning and development outcomes for all Victorians, particularly the vulnerable or disadvantaged
  • mutual respect for each partner’s autonomy and responsibilities, while recognising that true partnership may require change, innovation, and risk
  • collaboration and the fostering of opportunities to work together on issues of mutual benefit or concern
  • communication, consultation, and engagement on decisions by one partner that will impact upon the other
  • transparency of financial relations between our department, VCOSS and the sector, subject to relevant legislation and policies
  • a relationship that celebrates success, addresses challenges and acknowledges contributions to outcomes that are achieved
  • joint leadership of the partnership, including joint agenda setting.

Achievements of the partnership

Some significant achievements to date include:

  • the establishment of the 'Victorian Community Partnership Governance' group, which provides a regular forum for relationship building, policy development, and the exchange of information
  • annual Victorian community sector forums on topics of mutual interest, which are attended by ministers from all three education portfolios
  • the publication of Creating engaging schools for all children and young people: What worksExternal Link , research by the community sector identifying principles of good practice to keep children engaged at school.

Visit the Victorian Council of Social ServiceExternal Link to find out more about the achievements.

Quarterly Governance Group Meeting communiques

  • December 2022

    September 2022

    June 2022

    March 2022

    About this communique

    The Department of Education and Training (DET) – Community Sector Organisation (CSO) Governance Group is a quarterly forum for communication, consultation, engagement and collaboration between the Department and the community sector.

    Meetings are co-chaired by DET and the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) and reflect topics of mutual interest to DET and the sector.

    This communique has been prepared by VCOSS to increase the visibility of this forum.

    What was discussed in the March 2022 meeting?

    The focus of this meeting was Transitions.

    Supporting under-represented cohorts into early learning

    Fiona Balsillie, Executive Officer Early Learning, Uniting Vic.Tas presented on effective ways to support culturally and linguistically diverse families to transition into early learning.

    Fiona highlighted the positive impact of leveraging established connections in local communities to build trust; creating and using accessible communication through translated resources, translators and visual aids; and using bilingual outreach support workers to build awareness and understanding of the value of early learning, provide support in overcoming barriers to participation (for example, enrolment), and providing weekly support in language at the early learning service.

    Further information about programs delivered by Uniting Vic.Tas at their early learningExternal Link and multicultural servicesExternal Link webpages.

    Transitions for young people with youth justice involvement

    Murray Geddes, Principal – LOOKOUT Centre, South East Victoria Region provided an update on the work of LOOKOUT Centres in supporting young people with youth justice involvement. Supports include but are not limited to using multidisciplinary care teams, Youth Justice Advisors, Learning Mentors, Student Support Groups and Individual Education Plans.

    The meeting highlighted the importance of planning and consistent communication, ensuring clarity around roles and responsibilities, and increasing the capacity and understanding of the school system about meeting the needs of young people with youth justice involvement.

    Trent McCarthy, CEO Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) and Chair of VicLLENs spoke about the importance of partnerships across government departments, local organisations and local business to support young people who are youth justice system involved to sustain engagement with education, training or employment as they transition out of youth justice centres.

    The VicLLENs have recently formalised a Memorandum of Understanding with Parkville College to support this work.

    Quick updates

    Murray Geddes, Principal – LOOKOUT Centre, South East Victoria Region spoke about the Early Years LOOKOUT program which uses multidisciplinary teams to support children in out of home care to engage in early learning services; support the transition to school, and build system capability.

    Natalie Garcia de Heer, Director, Policy, Design and Coordination, Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Taskforce provided an update on the senior secondary reforms.

    These reforms have many streams of work including moving to a new integrated senior secondary certificate to bring together the VCE and VCAL. Natalie will return for the Term 2 meeting on engagement/disengagement to provide a more detailed presentation.

    Next meeting

    The Term 2 meeting will be on the theme of Engagement/Disengagement. Please contact VCOSS if there is something that you’d like to share with us, to guide our planning for future meetings.

    Deb Fewster, Director, Policy and Advocacy


    Talisha Ohanessian, Policy Advisor


Strategic Partnerships Program

The Strategic Partnerships Program (SPP) provides funding to not-for-profit organisations to deliver curriculum enrichment and enhancement programs that improve student achievement across the Victorian curriculum and/or improve teacher capability.

SPP funded programs provide opportunities that are not usually available in mainstream classrooms or professional development settings and enrich the learning experience of Victorian students.

The SPP funds programs in two distinct categories:

  • student learning
  • teacher professional learning.

2022-2023 funding period

In the current funding period, 80 organisations are receiving funding to deliver a total of 85 programs. The programs are delivered across Victoria, including in rural and regional areas. Programs vary in subject focus, duration and intensity, ranging from one‑off excursions through to year-long mentoring and professional development programs.

Prioritising students less likely to have access and making an impact

SPP programs target students (or teachers of students) who are less likely to have access to curriculum enrichment and enhancement opportunities, including:

  • students from disadvantaged or low SES backgrounds
  • rural and regional students
  • students with disability
  • Koorie students
  • students with English as an Additional Language
  • students in Out of Home Care.

All SPP‑funded organisations are required to monitor and evaluate their program and are also required to report on the outcomes they are achieving throughout the funding period.

Application process for the SPP 2024-2025 Funding Round

Applications for the 2024-2025 Funding Round will open on 10 am 15 May 2023 and close on 3pm 16 June 2023.

The Department of Education welcomes applications from any interested and eligible organisations, including those that have not previously applied for or received SPP funding.

Applications must be submitted through SmartyGrants and will not be accepted by any other means.

The 2024-2025 Funding Guidelines are available below:

Any organisation interested in applying must read the Funding Guidelines prior to beginning an application. The Funding Guidelines provide critical information, including eligibility, selection criteria and key concepts that will inform your application. Only eligible organisations can apply.

Applications for the SPP 2024-2025 funding round must be lodged through SmartyGrantsExternal Link .

Q & A Sessions

Q & A sessions providing information about the application process will be held online. Free tickets can be booked via EventbriteExternal Link . There is no charge for these sessions and they are limited to 25 participants per session to allow for moderated questions and discussion.

The sessions currently scheduled are:

Thursday 18 May 2023, 2:00pm – 3:00pm AEST

Friday 19 May 2023, 11.30am – 12.30pm AEST

Tuesday 23 May 2023, 11:00am – 12:00pm AEST

Thursday 25 May 2023, 2:00pm – 3:00pm AEST

Monday 29 May 2023, 1:00pm – 2:00pm AEST

Wednesday 31 May 2023, 10:00am – 11:00pm AEST

Thursday 1 June 2023, 2:30pm – 3:30pm AEST

Monday 5 June 2023, 1:00pm – 2:00pm AEST

Wednesday 7 June 2023, 11:00am – 12:00pm AEST

Monday 12 June 2023, 1:30pm – 2:30pm AEST

Additional sessions may be added, as needed. Check the SPP Eventbrite page for more information.

More information

For additional information regarding the SPP funding round, contact:

Reviewed 12 May 2023

Department of Education

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