Posted on 18. Nov, 2010 in Election Media Release, Victoria

A future Labor Government will build up to 20 new schools in Victoria’s growth areas under a $1.7 billion push to deliver world-class schools for families across Victoria, the Premier, John Brumby, said today.

Visiting McKinnon Secondary College with Education and Skills Minister Bronwyn Pike and the Member for Bentleigh, Rob Hudson, Mr Brumby announced that a future Labor Government would also rebuild, renovate or extend 50 secondary schools and 40 primary schools.

Labor will deliver a once-in-a-generation transformation of secondary schooling, Education for Life: The Year 9 Experience, to give government secondary school students the opportunities available at leading private schools.

“We understand that families want the very best start in life for their children and that’s why education is Labor’s number one priority,” Mr Brumby said.

“Our Government has invested in the biggest building program in Victoria’s history, bringing Labor’s investment in school buildings to date to $3.7 billion, with more than 980 schools rebuilt, renovated or redeveloped and thousands of new jobs created.

“We have employed 10,300 more teachers and support staff to bring down class sizes and we have 172,000 training places coming on stream.

“We will invest $194.3 million to build two new technical education centres, 20 cutting-edge classrooms at secondary schools, support 110,000 secondary students to study vocational subjects and provide career plans for all students over 15 years old in a government school.

“Our disciplined financial management means we have a AAA-rated budget and strong budget surpluses over the forward estimates, giving our Government the capacity to take our commitment to education to the next level.

“A future Labor Government will do the hard work to give the next generation of Victorians the opportunities they deserve by investing $1.7 billion over four years for the next phase of our plan to rebuild, renovate or extend every government school across the State.”

A future Brumby Labor Government will invest:

  • $900 million to rebuild, renovate or extend 50 secondary schools, including at least 15 secondary schools in rural Victoria;
  • $450 million to build up to 20 brand new schools in Victoria’s growth areas;
  • $250 million to rebuild, renovate or extend 40 primary schools, including at least 10 primary schools in rural Victoria;
  • $208.2 million to deliver Education for Life: The Year 9 Experience focusing on life skills such as leadership training, saving and budgeting, volunteering, community service and bushfire awareness – to build resilience and independence among our young people;
  • $79.7 million for 256 Primary Welfare Officers to continue providing student support in more than 450 disadvantaged primary schools;
  • $28.2 million to boost flexible learning and alternate setting education for students struggling to participate in mainstream classes;
  • $19.7 million for 50 new Home School Liaison Officers to work in disadvantage; and  
  • $50 million in grants to build new and expand camping and accommodation facilities across Victoria to provide more capacity for students.

Ms Pike said a future Brumby Labor Government would continue its strong record in rebuilding, renovating and extending schools to give more Victorian families access to world-class education opportunities for their children.

“We want Victorian students to learn in the best classrooms and to learn from the best teachers – that’s why education is the Brumby Labor Government’s number-one priority,” Ms Pike said.

“We know Victorian parents wanted the best for their children we want to ensure that Victorian children study in the best classrooms, inside and outside.

“We’ll complement the $1.7 billion boost to the Victorian Schools Plan with a range of investments focused on improving student outcomes inside the classrooms.

“That’s why we will invest in a revolutionary Year 9 Experience, an initiative that will guarantee Year 9 students at our schools the opportunity to spend at least two weeks away from home as part of a full-term program.

“Research tells us that Year 9 students are at a critical crossroad, not only at school but in life, as they navigate adolescence and build new skills.”

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