State education inquiry’s powerful impact

13 June 2024 Read hearing transcripts

Witnesses including young student Missi Joyce talk about giving evidence to the inquiry into the state education system.

An assessment of the state education system has heard powerful evidence from students, parents, teachers, principals and other educators from around Victoria.

Members of the Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee travelled to Bairnsdale, Traralgon, Bendigo and Shepparton for public hearings, which have wrapped up in Melbourne.

‘It's different for regional and rural areas and it's really important for the Committee to hear that perspective,’ Specialist Performing Arts Teacher Kathleen Parry said.

‘Teachers have so much happening on their plates and outside the classroom that we can't control and we really need more support from more people, more support from other professionals, to help us, to help our students and our families.’

Members were particularly moved by the stories of two teenage students, who appeared on behalf of the Commission for Children and Young People at the hearing in Shepparton.

‘What’s important is the voice of young people, especially those who have experienced extreme circumstances and what it does to their education,’ Commission Youth Council’s Missi Joyce said.

‘I thought it would be more confronting than it was, but it was actually quite easy.’

Missi Joyce, Commission Youth Council

‘My main message for the Committee would probably be for teachers to have a little bit more compassion and understanding for kids in care, in regard to education.’

In Bendigo, MPs heard from a range of schools about their needs and approaches.

‘I think an important recommendation is understanding what our young people went through during COVID and being able to take a flexible approach for them to come back into mainstream education,’ Bendigo South East Secondary College Assistant Principal Angela Tremain said.

Kennington Primary School Principal Travis Eddy proposed aspiring teachers complete an internship or apprenticeship as part of their training.

‘I think that’s the best way to upskill and for them to have an understanding of what teaching is actually really like in a school,’ he said.

Committee Chair Trung Luu said all of the information received across the seven days of public hearings is valuable.

‘Education is vitally important, it’s our next generation’s future.'

Trung Luu, Committee Chair

‘I would encourage anyone with an interest in this topic to read the public hearing transcripts and 274 submissions which are published on our website.’

The Committee is due to report to parliament by 15 October 2024.