Victoria Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan
Another Brumby Broken Promise As Regional High School Retention Rates Slump
Victor P Taffa
Labor’s failure to support high school students in regional and rural Victoria has sparked a slump in students staying in school until Year 12, Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said today.
Research conducted by the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition reveals that under Labor, country high school retention rates or the percentage of students remaining at high school until year 12 have fallen from 72 % in 2002 to 67 % in 2009.
“While retention rates in metropolitan schools have remained steady at 85 %, retention rates have declined alarmingly in every Victorian country region since 2002.” Mr. Ryan said.
“In 1998 John Brumby as Opposition Leader expressed concern about the school retention rate in country Victoria, stating:
“Surely one output by which a system can be judged is its provision of quality education and a high retention rate.”
“Given school retention rates in country Victoria have dropped in every region under Labor, the Premier by his own standards has failed regional students.” Mr. Ryan said.
“The Brumby Government is risking the future of regional Victoria by refusing to listen to families and properly resource regional education.”
“Regional high schools and country students do a magnificent job with the resources they have, but Labor has failed to support them.”
Mr. Ryan said government high schools in the Barwon South West, the Grampians, Loddon Mallee, Hume and Gippsland regions had all struggled to keep their students at school under a Labor Government.
“When Labor came to power in 1999, Victoria’s education funding per person was the second highest of any state, but Victoria now spends the least on education per person of any state.” Mr. Ryan said.
“John Brumby’s neglect has cost country students dearly with the dropout rate of students from regional high schools increasing over the past seven years.”
“John Brumby claims that education is his number one priority, but just like transport, law and order and other essential services, Labor is failing Victorian families on education.”
Student Retention Rates In Victorian Schools
|Retention rates years 7 to 12|
|All Government schools|
|Government metropolitan schools|
|Government country schools|
Source: Summary Statistics for Victorian Schools March 2009 and preceding editions