HULLS URGES SCHOOLS TO SEEK EXTRA VCAL FUNDING FROM DIXON

Posted on 06. Sep, 2011 in News

Victorian schools, students and parents should contact Education Minister Martin Dixon directly and demand he reconsiders his decision to slash funding for the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning, Shadow Education Minister Rob Hulls said today.

The Baillieu Government has cut $48 million – or $12 million annually – to fund VCAL coordinators, who are essential in developing curriculum and assessment materials, developing partnerships with local employment networks as well as coordinating student administration.

Mr Hulls said the Premier, Mr Dixon and Skills Minister Peter Hall had each provided Parliament with different answers about the cuts.

“It is clear there is confusion within the Baillieu Government about what these cuts mean,” Mr Hulls said.

“More than 400 Victorian schools will be affected by these $48 million cuts. Mr Dixon said he was happy to talk to schools that have concerns and I encourage every school in Victoria that runs a VCAL program to contact the Minister directly and request funding assistance.”

On August 30, Mr Baillieu told Parliament “there has been no cut to VCAL programs…funding for VCAL is remaining”.

Yet minutes later, his Education Minister, Martin Dixon corrected the Premier, telling Parliament a “tough financial decision” was made to cut funding to VCAL coordination in schools.

While in the Upper House Mr Hall said: “It is a fact that VCAL coordination will not be provided in schools from 2012”.

“Mr Baillieu needs to be honest with Victorians about the funding cut to VCAL. The fact is cuts to VCAL will be tough on schools, parents, teachers and students.”

Mr Hulls said VCAL was another victim of the Baillieu Government’s massive $481 million cuts to Victoria’s education budget.

“First Mr Baillieu stripped 100,000 families of the School Start Bonus, then he halved the school capital works budget this year and now he’s cut $48 million for VCAL programs. Schools stand to lose funding of up to $126,000 each per year, forcing them to slash programs and deny VCAL as an alternative to VCE study.”

“Mr Baillieu may have had a privileged educational experience, but VCAL ensures students seeking an alternative to the VCE benefit from a hands-on focus on learning.”

Parents, students and teachers wanting to contact the Education Minister, Martin Dixon, should send an email to martin.dixon@parliament.vic.gov.au

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