Victoria asks for comment on reform blueprints

The Victorian Government is calling on the public to have their say to the say on the future of school education and early childhood services.

Two Blueprint for Early Childhood Development and School Reform discussion papers – one for school reform and one for early childhood development – have been released for public comment and feedback.

The Government will also hold consultation sessions across the state throughout May.

“We have introduced significant reforms since 1999 – many from the 2003 Blueprint for Government Schools – which have made a difference to ensure Victorian families have the best schools,” says Education Minister Bronwyn Pike.

“We have introduced better reporting to parents through new student report cards and school annual reports, new curriculum standards, a greater emphasis on leadership and development for principals and teachers and the introduction of the $1.9 billion Victorian Schools Plan to improve our school buildings.

The blueprint proposals for school reform include:

• Stronger interventions and more intensive monitoring in underperforming schools;

• Monitoring and incentives to ensure that adequately performing schools are encouraged to improve;

• Develop a scheme to encourage high-performing graduates from other fields to enter teaching, modelled on the UK’s Teach First;

• Provide incentives, including higher salaries, for the best teachers and school leaders to work in those schools where they are needed most; and

• Support teachers who have become disengaged to leave the profession, after appropriate opportunities and support have been provided to lift teaching practice.

The blueprint proposals for early childhood development reform include:

• Integrating early childhood education and care, in partnership with the Commonwealth Government;

• Improving transitions to school;

• Developing a new 0-8 learning and development framework linked to existing learning standards in schools;

• Improving participation in early childhood services to improve early identification of health and development problems; and

• Supporting families to provide a home environment that supports development.

The public consultation process will run until 16 May 2008, and help shape the final Blueprint, which will be released later this year.

The Blueprint discussion papers and feedback form can be found at

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