A much-anticipated and revamped education plan is expected to help more students achieve equity and excellence as well as create more opportunities for all students.
The Bendigo Education Plan 2018-2028 will address the City of Greater Bendigo’s achievement and retention outcomes, which are falling below expected levels.
In the consultation phase of the plan, the Bendigo community called for the state government to ‘lift the bar’ and to make sure it is creating opportunities for all children and young people to thrive and excel.
- READ MORE: Plan to provide for city’s future
The plan aims to bring the community together to work towards achieving this common goal.
Recommendations from the Bendigo Education Plan include:
• Ensuring equitable access to quality programs, pathways and facilities
• Building teacher and educator capacity to support and extend all students
• Creating a culture of excellence for all
• Enriching approaches to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment
• Strengthening supports for children and young people through key transition points in their learning
• Partnering with families and carers as first-educators
• Collaborating with community, business and industry to lift engagement, learning and developmental outcomes
The new plan will address the challenge of lifting student achievement by drawing all of the community together and by addressing the whole learning cycle from birth, through schooling and beyond.
Through consultation with community, the evaluation of a previous education plan from 2005, analysis of data and the work of the Bendigo Education Plan steering committee, a number of challenges and opportunities were identified.
The plan wants to ensure students are prepared for life including workplace and employment changes, ensure equitable access to programs and pathways, keeping young people engaged in education, and strengthening partnerships to promote practices that support young people’s health and wellbeing.
A need to raise community’s aspirations, support vulnerable students through key transition points and ensure that educators are equipped to tailor learning to individual needs was also identified.
An opportunity to plan and provide services that cater to the city’s growing population, create a culture of excellence and offer opportunities for students to specialise was also recognised.
The plan stated community consultation identified that the people of Bendigo would like to see:
• more opportunities, programs and pathways for all children and young people
• creation of opportunities for young people to excel in their areas of interest
• stronger pathways to support children and young people finding it hard to stay engaged in education
• all children and young people achieve excellence in their learning and development
• encouragement and support for children and young people to achieve excellence in literacy, numeracy, science and technology and the arts.
The plan states community feedback also identified seven primary objectives to transform early years, primary and secondary schooling through to post-secondary education.
With that in mind the plan 2018 will focus on ensuring equitable access to quality programs, pathways and facilities; building teacher and educator capacity to support and extend all students and creating a culture of excellence for all and; enriching approaches to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.
Strengthening supports for children and young people through key transition points in their learning was another objective highlighted by community feedback as was partnering with families and carers as first educators and collaborating with community, business and industry to lift engagement, learning and developmental outcomes.
“A 10 -year project, the Bendigo Education Plan 2018 is designed to respond to the changing needs of Bendigo’s community,” the plan states.
“The plan includes measures and targets across the ten years that will guide the work and measure progress towards achieving the goals’.
“(It) includes built-in evaluation, planning and monitoring every two years.
“There will be five two-year phases, with opportunity for community input, review and reflection at the end of each phase.
“The review and planning of each phase will be led by a working group drawn from a range of representatives drawn from early childhood, school, higher education, industry, community, local council and social services settings.”
The school will provide students with access to technology such as virtual reality and robotics and ensure that students are prepared for jobs they make to on in the future.
Minister for Education James Merlino signed off on the plan on Thursday night.
He said it would lift outcomes and help students understand their education options.
“If the Education State is about anything it is about making sure every young person has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” he said.
The new plan was designed in conjunction with the local community to ensure education in the area meets their expectations, including links with local business needs and to ensure students are ready for the jobs of the future.
It also aims to strengthen support for students at risk of disengaging with the education system as well as their parents and carers by giving them a better understanding of options available through schools.
Mr Merlino and Bendigo MPs Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards unveiled the Bendigo Tech School’s facility’s design in April, 2017.
Students from Bendigo’s 14 government, Catholic and independent secondary schools will be able to access the Tech School’s learning programs free of charge.
The school will be one of 10 built throughout the state and will be based at La Trobe University’s new engineering building.