Melbourne’s suburbs receive a $1.8 billion boom in school buildings

The president of the Victorian Principals Association, Andrew Dalgleish, said the budget made a significant investment in expanding the state’s teacher base by about 1,900 teachers and schools would soon begin “seriously planning” how to deal with the reduction. of personal teaching time for their staff next year.

“From an elementary school perspective, this means that children’s normal teacher will have less personal time with them, and ideally it will create more time for teachers to prepare quality lessons and provide feedback to students, rather than possibly rushing them,” Dalgleish said.

There is also money to try to improve students’ reading and math skills, with budget documents showing that the state missed most of its targets for student achievement in reading and math last year.

In primary school, the percentage of students above the bottom three NAPLAN bands was below the state target in grade 3 reading and math and in grade 3. In secondary schools, the goals were missed in the 7th and 9th grade math and reading in the 9th grade.

Year 3 Reading was the only one of the eight categories where students met the state goal of reaching the top two bands.

The budget aims to increase students’ literacy and numeracy skills, mostly in the middle years, by $131 million to lift more students to higher NAPLAN bands, including $87.2 million to identify students who need more support. to reach the level they need to successfully graduate from school to work or further education.

There is also $17 million to train primary school teachers to be math and science specialists and $10 million to address the problem of too many teachers taking science, math, and technology classes off the field.

There is also $11.3 million to expand a pilot phonics program for prep and year 1 students to all government elementary schools.

Jordana Hunter, director of the Grattan Institute’s school education program, said more focus was needed on helping primary school students.

“While investments in the tricky mid-years are welcome, we’d like to see more focus on the early years,” said Dr. Hunter.

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“These are the years when we have the greatest opportunity to prepare students for success, especially underprivileged students. Many of these students have had a hard time during the pandemic. Teachers also need clearer guidelines on how to identify learning disabilities early and use evidence-based teaching methods to address them.”

The merger of the VCE and its applied learning alternative, VCAL, into a single certificate will cost $277.5 million and will increase the availability of vocational training and courses in many schools that do not currently have a strong VCAL program.

“Make no mistake, this is a big ticket item… the biggest reform of the VCE since its inception,” said Mr. Pallas.

“We will no longer pigeonhole children for technical or academic skills.”

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