Rural Towns Broaden Post Compulsory Options Through Partnerships

Three rural Victorian communities are providing a broader choice of options for young people at the post-compulsory level. This is a result of partnerships developed between government and catholic schools. There is a commitment to provide the broadest possible learning opportunities for young people. Thus encouraging young people to study within their local community, rather than travel to neighboring regional centres.  These partnerships have been developed to provide VCE units; VCAL and VET programs.

Camperdown, Myrtleford and Nathalia secondary colleges have developed strong partnerships between ensure young people have the best possible post compulsory program available.

Within Nathalia the two secondary colleges have been working in a partnership for nearly 30 years developing VCE and VCAL programs. Staff from both schools meet on a regular basis to plan, develop and evaluate programs and activities. A common timetable has been developed, along with one handbook for the Nathalia community. And there are joint staff gatherings to build staff relationships within the partnership.

“The students now have access to a broader range of VCE units and VCAL programs as a result of the two town schools working together – this would not be possible if we worked separately. It also means that these young people now don’t have to travel to the neighbouring regional centre to get the breadth”

Principal.

Within Myrtleford, the partnership between the catholic secondary college and the government P-12 setting has been in existence for nearly 30 years also. In its initial days, the partnershiup focused on supporting students in accessing their preferred choices by linking the needs of students with the staff expertise across the two schools. This occurred in a small number of VCE units. The partnership has developed and grown over the years, with the two schools now working collaboratively to develop and provide a comprehensive post compulsary learning program for all young people within the town. Today there are many VCE programs supported; a number of VET programs; and VCAL programs being provided through this partnership.  The partnerhsip is currently working on a Trade Training Centre concept for the town. Staff meet on a regular basis; timtables and organisational arrangements are co-ordinated; information to students and parents co-ordinated; leadership teams continually meeting to review and explore further developments and opportunities for the partnership.

“We are keen to provide the best possible edeucation for our post compulsory young people within Myrtleford without them thinking they have to travel to a regional centre to get such learning. The local partnership has enabled it to provide a broad learning program for these young people. We are keen to further develop the partnership into the future.”

Principal

Within Camperdown the development of a partnership this year between the catholic secondary college and the government P-12 college has seen the first initiative developed to support post compulsory learning. The initial activity has been to provide a joint approach to a VCE (Unit 3 and 4) subject that has been difficult to run within the individual schools. The unit is delivered by one schools wtih students from both schools involved in the program. The leadership of the schools have shown an interest to further develop this partnership in a desire to ensure that the needs and aspirations of young within the Camperdown community are met without them having to seek education outside their community.