Giving every Victorian child a high-quality education relies on designing inclusive, engaging and affordable schools.
Inclusive schools embrace diversity and make every student and family feel welcome. They ensure that no child misses out because of costs, and provide every child with the chance to learn and grow by fostering their health and wellbeing, and educational achievement. Inclusive education lays the foundations for strong, cohesive communities and helps support the state’s economy.
To harness the power of education to transform lives, all schools must have the resources, funding and facilities to deliver a world-class education.
Earlier this year the Education Equity Coalition, which represents students, parents, teachers, principals and community organisations including VCOSS, launched an action plan for inclusive education.
The Stronger Schools campaign has eight key priorities including making public education truly free, increasing resources for students facing disadvantage, and making sure every student is healthy and resilient.
The Victorian Government has taken significant steps towards delivering these objectives. Recent undertakings include employing over 190 mental health professionals in schools, giving regional students more VCE options and extending a free myki card trial for disadvantaged students in Melbourne’s west.
During the state election campaign, Victoria’s political parties have announced a number of positive education policies (for an overview, check out the VCOSS policy tracker).
The Labor Party has committed to building 100 new schools over the next eight years and expanding the school breakfast club, and the Liberal Party has promised to help families buy school uniforms and give free textbooks to public secondary students.
The Greens have promised to lobby to increase student funding to the national average and to allocate funds to schools based on equity and need.
While these policies represent a great start, Victoria has a responsibility to better resource and assist every school to deliver an affordable, inclusive and quality education to each child.
We would like to thank all the community sector members and other supporters who added their endorsement to the Stronger Schools Campaign.
VCOSS looks forward to working with the successful candidates to help deliver an ambitious and inclusive education system for all Victorian students during the next term of Parliament.