Skills Training and Apprenticeships Brighter Futures

Shadow Minister hears bright ideas for education

19 October 2015


Monday 19 October 2015

Year 12 attainment rates transport and the provision of support to small rural schools was a key focus of the Brighter Futures Forum hosted by Nationals Candidate for Polwarth David O’Brien in Colac last week.

Mr O’Brien invited Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan to host the forum to hear from local teachers and community members.

Mr O’Brien said a number of valuable suggestions were made, including the idea of more networking between smaller regional schools.

“At 57 per cent, Colac’s year 12 attainment rate is 17 per cent lower than the state average,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Increasing the networking of small country schools in order to viably provide specialist programs in art, music, physical education was one suggestion raised.

Many rural schools such as Skipton Primary School do not have physical education or art teachers, leaving a gap in students’ education.

“If we were to create a network of small schools around a base school, specialist teachers could travel and rotate between schools and we could make a real difference to a number of smaller schools.

“I also wholeheartedly support the call for additional train services to allow student access to the great tertiary institutions that sits 45 minutes to an hour either side of Colac.

“I believe these idea have real potential to help bridge the gap between regional and metropolitan Victoria.”

Ms Ryan said the forum had been an opportunity to hear directly from the Colac community about the issues affecting them.

“There is a very strong link between education and healthier, more prosperous communities and this forum was a chance to hear from the local community about some of the things that could be done to improve in these areas,” Ms Ryan said.

“Regional Victoria is greatly over-represented in state statistics for issues such as educational outcomes, disadvantage and poorer health.

“These ideas will assist us as we work to develop a strong rural education policy for the 2018 election to improve the prosperity of regional Victorian communities like Colac.”

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