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:
- representing rural and remote education communities on numerous government and education sector working groups;
- papers and submissions in relation to government policy impacting on rural education.
- contributing to establishment of the small rural and remote schools resource within their school budgets.
- contributed to the development of the rural and remote secondary school fund to enhance post compulsory learning provision.
- contributes to the allocation of extra equity resources within the school global budgets for rural and remote schools.
- participated in numerous reviews and research projects focused on education impacting on rural and remote communities.
- Facilitation of a number of Education forums annually on specific issues relevant to rural and remote education communities
- Facilitation of workshops and support for rural and remote education communities to develop partnerships and clusters to enhance learning opportunities and improve education communities.
- Development of an extensive resource to support the formation of rural and remote clusters and partnerships.
- Development and production of the “Group Activities in Primary Science” resource materials focusing on science and technology, literacy and maths
- Facilitate the highly successful Energy Breakthrough program.
- EKids – an online program for talented upper primary school students within rural and remote education settings – .
- EKids Science – an blended learning program involving upper primary school students in science activities and programs.
- EBiology – a highly successful program for rural and remote VCE students studying Biology. Program provided through a Blended Learning approach.
- Facilitated a number of Enterprise Learning initiatives across a number of rural and remote communities as part of the Commonwealth Governments program.
- Facilitated the Teaching Farms program which linked city schools with rural schools to provide primary schools with a rural living experience, especially of farm life.
- State-wide Parent involvement programs focusing on maths and literacy learning.
- Facilitation of numerous cluster approaches to the provision of VCE and VET programs throughout rural and remote communities – many of which are still operating today. Central to these programs was the use of telematics as a key delivery approach.
- Facilitation in the provision of numerous LOTE program for primary and secondary school students within the western parts of Victoria through the use of telematics.
- Provision of a number of Rural Education Bursaries and Scholarships
- Facilitation of the annual Professional Development Forum for Curriculum Leaders within P-12 Education settings.
- Facilitation of the bi annual Rural Education Conference.
- 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 –
- The introduction of the Baillieu Myer Rural Education Leadership Scholarship and the continued support of the Rural Education Award – Rural Education Award 2018.
- Facilitation of a P-12 education leadership forum
- The provision of, and support of, education leadership programs within rural Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
- Developed and facilitate the Pipeline Leadership program – CEP Rural and Remote Education Pipeline Leadership Project #6a
- Developed and facilitated a P-12 Schooling Leadership Program.
Rural Youth Aspirations
- Facilitate the highly acclaimed Rural Youth Ambassador program.
- Development of the Rural Inspire initiative aimed at enhancing youth aspirations within rural and remote communities.
- Undertake regular surveys of rural and remote education leaders on key challenges in relation to education provision – undertaken each five years.
- Undertook a research on the experiences of Rural New Graduates.
- Facilitated the “Twice as Likely” Report which focused on university participation of rural and remote young people.
- In partnership with the Victorian Principals Association facilitated a survey of Teaching Principals across Victoria.
- Facilitated the P-12 Education Research Project – P-12 Education Report 2007
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.