Central to the Country Education Partnerships approach is the development of locally determined, collaborative and cross sectoral partnerships, or clusters, to ensure that these communities are provided with the education provision they need and desire. Specifically this work focused on:
- actively supporting, developing and promoting innovative teaching and learning practices aimed at enhancing learning opportunities and improving education outcomes for children and young people;
- networking with a range of stakeholder organisations to ensure that rural and remote education is represented, and
- advocating to governments and education sectors to ensure the needs of rural and remote learning communities are considered in policy development.
CEP has a proven record in the development and implementation of a range of programs and services to enhance and improve education provision across rural Australia. Some of these include:
- Development and production of the resource materials focusing on science and technology, literacy and maths
- Development of specific, and innovative, education programs. Eg Energy Breakthrough, E-Kids, Teaching Farms, Enterprise Learning, Group Activities in Primary Science, and Rural Inspire.
- Rural Education Bursaries and Scholarships
- Parent involvement programs in maths and literacy
- National Professional Development Program and National Rural Education Conferences
- P-12 education support, professional development and research
- Post compulsory provision in rural communities
- Research projects specific to rural education
- Professional Development and Conferences focusing on rural and remote education
- Education forums on specific issues relevant to rural and remote education communities
- The establishment of the Rural Educators Network focusing on teacher recruitment and retention initiatives, and the subsequent Rural School Centre of Teaching Excellence and Rural Teaching Academy
- Papers and submissions in relation to government policy impacting on rural education.
- The support of the eKids initiative – a framework to support the provision of learning through a blended learning approach.
- The establishment of a Rural Student Agency initiative to inspire rural and remote young people in realising their dreams – Rural Inspire
- Co-ordination of the highly successful Energy Breakthrough program
- The provision of, and support of, education leadership programs within rural Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
- The introduction of the Baillieu Myer Rural Education Leadership Scholarship
- A range of professional development activities; conference and experiences.
Whilst these initiatives highlight a strong practical understanding of current educational issues, they also focus on the development and implementation of solutions relevant to the needs of contemporary rural and remote learning communities.
A significant development of CEP saw the introduction of Life Membership recognising those people who have provided significant support and involvement in enhancing the learning provision in rural and remote communities. The first of these Life Memberships was allocated in 2007 and a total of eight Life Memberships have been allocated thus far.
In addition, in 2008 CEP was pleased to announce that Mr Baillieu Myer AC was nominated as the organisations inaugural Patron. Mr Myer has had a long standing interest in rural and remote education where he has supported a number of initiatives to support the provision of education throughout rural and remote Australia. As an indication of his commitment to rural and remote education, he established the Baillieu Myer Rural Education Leadership Scholarship in 2009 in recognition of people from rural and remote learning communities who have provided outstanding contribution to the provision of rural and remote education.
Over recent times, the Country Education Partnership has been heavily involved in the development of a “Rural Education Framework” for the ongoing provision of rural and remote education within Victoria. In 2007, it developed the Working Together Framework which highlighted a number of key areas of focus needed to ensure that rural education is maintained at a high level. The Working Together Framework was further developed during 2015 and 2016 with the resultant “Rural Education Framework” being released in December, 2016.
A copy of the Framework is available through the link: Rural Education Framework Discussion Summary
The Rural Education Framework is underpinned by two key principles:
- locally determined cluster and partnerships as a key strategy in supporting the development and provision of education in rural and remote communities, and;
- inspiring young people in rural and remote communities to chase, and realise, their dreams.
The Framework also outlines the four key areas of support that Country Education Partnership believes are key to the successful provision of a quality education into the future:
- creative and innovative learning provision approaches;
- recruitment and retention of a quality workforce;
- supporting the development of quality rural education leadership appraoches;
- enhancing rural youth aspirations.