BAILLIEU’S VCAL FUNDING CUT IS UNFAIR TO STUDENTS

Posted on 22. Sep, 2011 in News

The Labor Opposition today launched a campaign to support the community’s concerns about the Baillieu Government’s $48 million cuts to the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the Baillieu Government’s decision to slash coordination funding for VCAL would impact thousands of students across the state and could force schools to cut
educational programs.

Mr Andrews said the ‘save VCAL’ campaign called on the Baillieu Government to rethink its decision to slash almost $50 million from the VCAL program.

“VCAL is a great alternative to VCE for year 11 and 12 students, as well as mature-age students,” Mr Andrews said.

“There are many reasons not every student will complete VCE and it is crucial that students have a choice to pursue more career-focussed studies.

“VCAL has delivered real benefits for young Victorians, and a recent report showed that last year 86.9 per cent of VCAL students had a direct pathway to further education, training or work.

“That’s why it doesn’t make sense that Mr Baillieu has chosen to cut $48 million of funding from the VCAL program.”

Mr Andrews said many principals, teachers, parents and students were concerned about Mr Baillieu’s funding cuts.

“I have visited a number of schools and adult providers, and seen first-hand the positive impact that VCAL coordinators have in supporting students, so that the VCAL program works for them,” he said.

“VCAL coordinators are integral to the program. They develop curriculum and assessment materials, connect with local employment networks and coordinate student administration.

“Many schools are already trying to make cuts in other areas in an effort to keep the program running.

“It may force schools to reduce the number of teachers, cut subjects, or dump support programs in areas such as literacy.”

VCAL was started by the former Labor Government in 2002, and is now undertaken by about 20,000 students at more than 400 schools, TAFEs and adult learning centres. From next year, another nine schools will provide VCAL.

“VCAL is an entrenched and important part of Victoria’s school curriculum,” Mr Andrews said.

“Cutting support for VCAL teachers and students is not right.”

Victorians can urge the Baillieu Government to rethink its choice by signing a petition at facebook.com/saveVCAL

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