Posted on 15. Sep, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government must restore funding to the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning program following the Government’s curriculum authority praising its success, Shadow Minister for
Education Rob Hulls said today.

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) Annual Report tabled in Parliament this week included glowing praise from one of the State’s most senior education bureaucrats.

“This report makes a mockery of the Baillieu Government’s callous funding cut to VCAL,” Mr Hulls said.

“In his introduction, VCAA CEO John Firth reported 86.9 per cent of VCAL students in 2010 were participating in further education, training or work and said it was ‘an outstanding achievement’.

“His statement demonstrates the importance of VCAL coordinators as part of the VCAL program.

“It is VCAL coordinators who link students with training and employment organisations to secure future skills and work opportunities.

“And now Mr Baillieu has cut $48 million from VCAL saying coordinators aren’t needed. What an absolute joke.”

Mr Hulls said the VCAA report also found student participation in VCAL had increased and nine new providers had signed up to expand the program in 2012.

“The annual report found in the last four years there was an average growth in enrolments of 10.8 per cent per year, with nearly 20,000 students participating in the program through 429 schools
and training providers state-wide,” he said.

“The VCAA supports what the Labor Party and Victorian community have been saying all along, and that is VCAL coordinators are an essential part of VCAL’s success in giving students a successful
alternative pathway to the VCE.”

Mr Hulls said the Baillieu Government could no longer ignore the evidence and must urgently restore the $48 million cut from the VCAL budget.

“If this funding is not restored the future of tens of thousands of VCAL students’ will be at risk.

“Mr Baillieu needs to start showing some leadership and direct his Education Minister Martin Dixon to back VCAL students and resource the program properly.”

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