The Victorian Government is taking action to bridge the divide between regional and metropolitan schools, with a funding boost for new and existing initiatives to support country students.
An Expert Advisory Panel into Rural and Regional Students was commissioned to undertake a review and meet with local communities to identify ways to improve educational outcomes for rural and regional students.
The panel’s recommendations include considering measures to attract principals and teachers and support staff to regional areas making more resources and subjects available for senior secondary students.
An initial $82.8 million funding package will support recommendations from the panel.
Expert advisory panel for rural and regional students
Targeted initiatives to attract more teachers
We are providing $45.2 million to address teacher supply issues outside Melbourne by attracting teachers and school leaders to state schools in rural and regional Victoria, and supporting them to stay. This includes:
- $12.5 million that will go towards offering the best teachers up to $50,000 to re-locate to country areas to fill hard-to-staff positions, as well as a range of non-financial support to assist with relocation, such as help with finding housing. Teachers will also be eligible for retention payments of up to $9,000 per annum in their first three years if they remain in these roles.
- $12.9 million to support school leaders with additional expert Turnaround Teams to work with individual schools facing the greatest barriers to addressing underperformance.
- $7 million to fund additional Executive Class Principals to take on the most challenging, complex and specialised school leadership roles.
- $12.8 million to increase the number of high-quality teachers specialising in VET and VCAL so that more students from country areas can access and complete apprenticeships, traineeships and further education.
Rural and regional education reform
More than $37 million will go to a range of initiatives to improve educational outcomes for rural and regional students, including:
- $13.2 million to enable rural and regional students to attend VCE revision lectures in Melbourne, saving students up to $1,000 on registration, travel and accommodation costs
- $7.8 million to expand professional development for teachers and leaders in rural and regional areas
- $5.1 million to support rural and regional schools to work in clusters to strengthen curriculum delivery
- $3.7 million for outreach and virtual programs – such as the John Monash Science School Rural Exchange Program – for regional and rural schools
- $3.7 million to abolish the enrolment fees for Virtual School Victoria for all Victorian students, saving around 4,400 parents $160 for the cost of their children accessing virtual learning
- $2.5 million to increase access to mentoring, role models and information about post-school pathways
- $1.4 million for Victoria’s Tech Schools to host and offer STEM programs for regional and rural students.
The Victorian Government is also investing additional funding in a range of initiatives that will continue to benefit regional and rural students. This includes:
- Up to $8.9 million will be invested in the STEM Catalyst initiative to provide out-of-field teachers in regional in rural areas with training in mathematics and science
- Up to $2.1 million for employment-based pathways programs to attract high-achieving graduates into the teaching profession in rural and regional areas
- $59.9 million boost to lift the digital experience and double the internet bandwidth of schools and continue to maintain the technical support schools require
- $22.1 million for the Affordable Uniforms
- $1.3 million to the Glasses for Kids program
- $160.9 million for the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund.
Reviewed 12 December 2022