Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Questions without notice

Education system


Education system

Pauline RICHARDS (Cranbourne) (16:43): My question is for the Minister for Education. Minister, every Victorian, including those in my electorate of Cranbourne, deserves the opportunity to have a great local school and to get the skills they need for the job they want. What is the minister’s plan for ensuring every Victorian can get a great education?

Natalie HUTCHINS (Sydenham – Minister for Education, Minister for Women) (16:44): Speaker, congratulations to you on your appointment.

Can I thank the member for her question. Certainly her enthusiasm for schools in her local electorate is one that shines through. She knows that the Andrews Labor government is building on the Education State and that every student should and does get access to great local schools and education. We are committed to delivering on the $1.6 billion that we have committed to schools and kinder during this term. It will see significant upgrades to so many schools. In particular I just want to call out Cranbourne Park Primary School, Cranbourne East secondary school, Cranbourne Secondary College and Rangebank Primary School in the member’s electorate. She, I know, is very excited, and these projects I know will mean a lot to students and teachers in her electorate.

I am so proud of our commitment to build and upgrade schools in every corner of our state. It is a $12.8 billion commitment that we have made in building new schools and delivering 1850 upgrades since we came to government. We promised to build 100 new schools by 2026, and we are getting on with delivering that. We are well ahead of schedule. We have delivered and fully funded the 75 on the plans, 48 have already opened and 27 new schools are on track to open across the next two years.

At the recent election we also committed to complete that plan by getting to work on six new primary schools and two new secondary schools for Melbourne’s south-east; three new primary schools, a prep to year 9 school, a secondary school and a specialist school for the west; five primary schools, a secondary school and a specialist school for the north; a new primary school for Fishermans Bend; two new primary schools near Geelong; and a new primary school at Leneva. We will also open six new cutting-edge tech schools – this is such exciting work – bringing tech school coverage to almost two-thirds of Victoria’s state school students.

We will deliver a $207 million package that will transform our specialist schools and with them the lives of students, their carers and their families. A re-elected Labor Andrews government will extend outside hours care to every single specialist school in our state, giving kids the extra learning and social connection that they need and parents the respite that they deserve. We will introduce NDIS navigators to 89 specialist schools, and we will invest $8.2 million to support TAFEs to employ 16 transitional officers. This is game-changing stuff.

Our ongoing commitment extends past secondary schools out into our TAFE system, with free TAFE so all Victorians can study for jobs in growth sectors like health care, mental health, construction, hospitality and early childhood. And last week Victoria celebrated 150 years since the passing of the Education Act in this place – the first of its kind not only in Australia but in the world. This government is committed to continuing that legacy by making Victoria the Education State and doing what matters.