Olivia lives with the rare Kleefstra Syndrome.

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Auditor General report supports call for better ‘middle years’ transition planning

Today’s report by the Auditor General provides further evidence to support VCOSS’ call for better ‘middle years’ transition planning for children moving from primary to secondary school.

“Too many young Victorians are missing out on the opportunities that education can offer due to a lack of investment and support during the critical ‘middle years’, spanning Years 5 to 8,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS.

“Victoria needs a strong and comprehensive framework to guide middle years transition that provides much better guidance to schools. The middle years are a time when children are entering adolescence and experiencing significant physical, social and developmental change.”

“Middle years are a critical age for identifying early warning signs, to prevent more complex issues developing. But they have been virtually ignored in policy and program development.”

“The VAGO report showed that children who experience problems transitioning from primary to secondary are more likely to disengage from school.”

“The data in the report shows a noticeable drop in engagement and academic outcomes across the middle-years transition period, especially for boys.”

“In 2013 VCOSS and YACVic published a comprehensive study on supports for young people, Building the Scaffolding: Strengthening support for young people in Victoria, which identified critical gaps in support for young people during these ‘middle years’ and called for targeted services aimed at reducing disengagement.”

“Supporting vulnerable young people to remain engaged in education is essential. More than 10,000 school-aged Victorians disengage from school every year. The effects of this are profound.”

“Young people who stay engaged and complete secondary school have a greater chance of being employed as an adult and of earning a higher income. They can also expect better social and health outcomes.”

“Better middle years transition planning is one important way we can support vulnerable and at-risk young people to remain in education”.

“In contrast to the lack of planning in the middle years, the Auditor General found that most Victorian children are well prepared for their transition from early childhood education to primary school.”